Ethnic Boundaries

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

Ethnic Boundaries

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Chapter 2 addresses the ways in which properties of ethnic groups create and maintain ethnic boundaries. The contexts in which we find active boundary maintenance in the Deaf-World can be sorted into outside and inside forces. Outside forces include formal classification, official policies, labor markets, residential space, and daily experience. Inside forces include language, common physical features such as height and skin color, and cultural mores. Deaf and hearing people have profound differences on fundamental issues that create and maintain boundaries. Opposed views include: designation of Deaf people (Deaf vs. hearing-impaired); competence to control Deaf institutions (privileged / incompetent); shaping the lives of Deaf children (bilingual education / cochlear implants); Cultural status (ASL recognition / ASL replacement); discriminatory practices (job networking / prejudicial job descriptions and hiring). The practice of marrying within one's ethnic group is another internal force for boundary maintenance.

Keywords: ethnic boundaries; Deaf marriage; Deaf language; Deaf institutions; bilingual education; cochlear implants

Chapter.  4321 words. 

Subjects: Cognitive Psychology

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