Cultural Cohesive Forces

Harlan Lane, Richard C. Pillard and Ulf Hedberg

in The People of the Eye

Published in print December 2010 | ISBN: 9780199759293
Published online January 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199863372 | DOI:

Series: Perspectives on Deafness

Cultural Cohesive Forces

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Chapter 1 compares the culture of the Deaf-World to cultural properties of ethnic groups. The terms of comparison include language, bonding to one's kind, cultural rules and values, social institutions, language arts, visual arts, history, ethnic heritage sites, kinship, and socialization. In order to undertake this study of Deaf ethnicity, it was necessary to distinguish Deaf ASL signers from the much larger and more heterogeneous group of more than ten million hearing-impaired Americans who communicate primarily in English or another oral language. Most of the people in this larger group do not see themselves as members of a sign-language minority nor do they participate in its organizations, profess its values, or follow its customs; rather, they consider themselves hearing people with a hearing disability. This book is about the smaller group, one among several that make up the Deaf community—specifically, Deaf signers of ASL.

Keywords: ethnicity and language; bonding; cultural rules and values; social institutions; language arts; visual arts; history; ethnic heritage sites; kinship; socialization

Chapter.  14557 words. 

Subjects: Cognitive Psychology

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