Deaf identities and the Emergence of Deaf Gain

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Deaf culture bonds Deaf communities as supranational entities that share an imaginary which allows a connection at a global level. The fluidity in the understanding between two Deaf people from opposite sides of the world through signed languages is a surprising phenomenon.
Throughout his life, a Deaf individual who uses sign language is permeated with translations and mediations as well as a feeling of being like a stranger in their own country, not sharing the common sensorial acuity that is required for canonical communication among the hearing. Hence, the Deaf are (usually) bilingual, bimodal and surrounded by intermodal translations and interpretations. In this way, it is important to discuss how identification and ascription processes occur in the Deaf, and how Deaf Identities can surface differently, as the prevalent presence of stigma can ultimately contaminate these processes.
The Deaf population encompasses people with different hearing loss (or can we say ‘Deaf Gain’?), different language and communicational choices and consequently different Deaf identities. Considering the Deaf Communities’ heterogeneity, a jigsaw puzzle can be formed by its multiple identities and signed languages. This perspective is one of the premises of ‘Deaf Gain’, a concept that has been groundbreaking during the last years in Deaf Studies.

Keywords: Deaf Studies; Deaf Identities; Deaf Gain; Deaf Geographies
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 28 Jun 2017
EventVII Lisbon Summer School for the Study of Culture - Global Translations - Lisbon, Portugal
Duration: 26 Jun 20171 Jul 2017


ConferenceVII Lisbon Summer School for the Study of Culture - Global Translations


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