Social Identity Theory (Tajfel, 1981) posits that members of minority groups achieve positive social identity by (a) attempting to gain access to the mainstream through individual mobility or (b) working with other group members to bring about social change. Some people may use a combination of both strategies. Through the use of cluster analysis, the existence of three identities associated with these strategies was discerned in a sample of 267 deaf adults: culturally hearing identity, culturally deaf identity, and bicultural identity, each comprising about a third of the sample. A subset of 56 people were interviewed in depth; excerpts are presented to illustrate the identity types. Qualified support was found for the prediction that people with culturally deaf and bicultural identities would have higher self-esteem.


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pp. 420-428
Launched on MUSE
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