Title

Deaf Culture Is Different: Working With the Deaf Community, Nothing About Us, Without Us!

Date of Award

7-22-2012

Document Type

Capstone Project

Disciplines

Organiz. & Prof. Communication

Degree Name

Master of Professional Studies

Department

Organiz & Prof Communication

Advisor

Amy Kelsall

Keywords

Deaf Culture; American Sign Language; Nothing About Us Without Us; Hofstede's Theory; Individualism versus Collectivism; Direct versus Face Saving; Deafness; Comprehensive Language; Deaf Education

Abstract

American Deaf culture consists of a nationwide community of 500,000 people who use American Sign Language (ASL). Their culture often goes unrecognized. Hofstede's Cultural Theory values are utilized to evaluate face-saving versus directness and individualism versus collectivism from the perspectives of members of the Deaf community, especially as a possible exception to Hofstede's view of concurrent traits. The research process, while seeking examples of misunderstanding or conflict with the historically more powerful hearing majority, and the results, demonstrate cultural differences. Recommendations are made for working with members of the Deaf community, in particular regarding linguistic autonomy of Deaf children and cultural autonomy of adults with particular emphasis on recent developments within and the historic attacks on the Deaf community.

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