Journal Article

Deaf Persons of Asian American, Hispanic American, and African American Backgrounds: A Study of Intraindividual Diversity and Identity

Susan Foster and Waithera Kinuthia

in The Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education

Volume 8, issue 3, pages 271-290
Published in print July 2003 | ISSN: 1081-4159
Published online July 2003 | e-ISSN: 1465-7325 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/deafed/eng015
Deaf Persons of Asian American, Hispanic American, and African American Backgrounds: A Study of Intraindividual Diversity and Identity

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This article explores the ways in which deaf college students who are members of minority racial groups think about and describe their identities. In-depth, semistructured interviews with 33 deaf students of Asian American, Hispanic American, and African American background were analyzed for themes regarding the self-reported identities of respondents. Results suggest that each person is a constellation of many parts, some of which are stronger than others but any of which can be drawn out in response to a particular set of circumstances, resulting in a contextual and interactive model of identity. Four factors are described as central to this “intraindividual” model: individual characteristics, situational conditions, social conditions, and societal conditions. Additionally, the model includes a biographical component reflected in changes in identity that occur over time. Findings are discussed as they relate to identity theory. The article is concluded with recommendations for further research, as well as considerations for educators and counselors of deaf minority students.

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Subjects: Education ; Linguistics ; Teaching of Specific Groups and Special Educational Needs

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