Deaf Identities in the Making
Local Lives, Transnational Connections
Publication Year: 2005
Published by: Gallaudet University Press
Title Page, Copyright
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In writing this book, I have been guided by many friends and colleagues and helped by a few key institutions and organizations. I am in particular indebted to the deaf people who shared their life stories with me—and hence made this book possible. I am also indebted to numerous other deaf people who I approached during the years of research upon which this book is based (from 1996 ...
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These are all important questions related to identity. However, identity is a tricky concept. It connotes sameness and is used to differentiate oneself from others, natives from foreigners, deaf people from hearing people, and so forth. At an individual level, sameness is connected to the process of becoming and creating oneself. At a collective level, it is about group ...
1. BEING , BECOMING, AND LONGING
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The experiential difference of deafness installs an initial sense of isolation, strangeness, and loneliness in most deaf people—leading to the tremendous challenge of social identification and existential self-awareness. The fact that many deaf life stories take the narrative format of a travelogue is connected to this and to the early, embodied metaphors of “spatial ...
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Deafened people are also pathologized from yet another angle. Within the Deaf signing communities as well, deafened people are often viewed as suspect figures. This is because they are not accepted as being really deaf, and they are often accused of being too willing to pass as hearing people. Deafened people seldom learn sign language fluently. Because fluency is a ...
3. THE HOMELESS MIND—BELONGING AND LIMBO
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In Klara’s life, there are few solid anchorage points, and a central leitmotif in her story is thus her thorough sense of homelessness or strangeness. For Giddens (1990), homelessness is one of “the consequences of modernity” that, through different “disembedding mechanisms,” contributes to the lifting of the individual out of his or her social connectedness and structural ...
4. LOCAL LIVES, TRANSNATIONAL CONNECTIONS
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Sally and Albertine grew up with a stronger sense of love and shelter than Klara, and they were not challenged by abuse and neglect as she was. Both of them were born deaf into hearing families that they describe as caring. The sense of disorientation and void was there, however, but in less hampering and traumatic ways. Their entrance into the ...
5. WAY UP: ON DEAF ETHNIFICATION
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... quite late in the process of jointly working on the structure of her life story, and it is informative of the way she has come to think about herself as a Deaf person. I met both Lisa and Bill for the first time at a DAF gathering at Ål in 1999 and was able to recruit them for my research project. They both thought my research was rather biased. ...
6. INDIVIDUAL DILEMMAS AND COLLECTIVE OBSTACLES
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Deaf people, as sign language users, make up linguistic minorities. In each of these minorities, there are developed traditions and ways of being, characteristic of that community but with many cultural aspects in common. Differences in this respect mostly are due to local and national, past and present differences, which in various degrees have limited or hampered ...
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Page Count: 228
Publication Year: 2005