A Lens on Deaf Identities

A Lens on Deaf Identities

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The last couple of decades have witnessed an explosion of self-and-identity-related literature, spurred in large part by the rapid growth of cultural, racial, and ethnic diversity in the population of the United States, the desire to better understand the interface between identity and social groups, and the question of whether confronting differences brings about changes in self-representation. Much of this literature has, however, often overlooked the fact that diversity encompasses other domains, including disabilities such as deafness. A Lens on Deaf Identities fills this gap by exploring identity formation in deaf persons. How a deaf person develops in societies or groups with preconceived notions of disability, deafness, and what is best for deaf people has implications not only for the psychological well being and self-esteem of the deaf person, but also for what a deaf identity really means, and who decides that identity. The issue of identify formation amongst this population is fraught-even the terminology used to describe people with deafness or hearing loss contradicts the notion of a single 'deaf experience'-Deaf, deaf, oral deaf, Oral Hearing Loss, hearing impaired, acquired hearing loss, deaf with a 'hearing mind', and so on. The book explores the major influences on deaf identity, including the relatively recent formal recognition of a Deaf culture, the different internalized models of disability and deafness, the appearance of deaf identity theories in the psychological literature, the presence of greater racial and ethnic diversity in deaf individuals, technology (such as the cochlear implant) that strongly affects the identity of deaf people, and deaf people's ongoing experiences of stigma and oppression. A Lens on Deaf Identities will appeal to student and professional researchers in deaf studies and deaf education.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 240 pages
  • 154.94 x 233.68 x 20.32mm | 249.47g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 10 halftones, 10 line illus.
  • 0195320662
  • 9780195320664
  • 835,293

Review quote

"In this most comprehensive and up-to-date discussion of identity and identity development among deaf and hard-of-hearing people, Leigh richly compiles, compares, contrasts, and critiques the existing research and literature. She capably debates the appropriateness of traditional and racial/ethnic identity development theories, their strengths and weaknesses and their utility for applications to the identities and identity development of deaf people...The author is open, honest, and provocative in her presentation, taking bold steps to address and mediate controversial issues in identity and identity politics...The book respects and balances the multiple realities and experiences of individuals and the complex forces that contribute to these realities...This is a sincere, validating, and courageous stance against a backdrop of multiple competing social tensions, which renders the book an important source of critical community dialogue."--PsycCRITIQUES"Like peeling a multi-layered onion, Dr. Irene Leigh gets to the 'core' of the complex concept of identity formation of d/Deaf and hard of hearing individuals. Her recognition that identities can't be 'boxed in by categories of prescriptive deaf identity categories' will make this a pivotal book for all who write about deaf people."--CHOICE"The depth in which Leigh discusses d/Deaf identity goes far beyond this review. Suffice it to say that educators, researchers, students, and any curious soul who wants to learn about the far-reaching complexities of what is involved in d/Deaf identities should read this book. The sheer volume of her research demonstrates that deaf identity cannot be labeled as a medical/auditory issue but rather is one that is far more complex, varied and even conflicted. Instead of placing the burden of deafness on d/Deaf individuals, Leigh's insightful book reveals that the responsibility must be squarely placed on the shoulders of society as a whole." -- Kristen Laubscher Johnson, The Ohio State University, Disability Studies Quarterlyshow more

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