Journal Article

Deaf Utopias? Reviewing the Sociocultural Literature on the World's “Martha's Vineyard Situations”

Annelies Kusters

in The Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education

Volume 15, issue 1, pages 3-16
Published in print January 2010 | ISSN: 1081-4159
Published online October 2009 | e-ISSN: 1465-7325 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/deafed/enp026
Deaf Utopias? Reviewing the Sociocultural Literature on the World's “Martha's Vineyard Situations”

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Martha's Vineyard—an island off the East Coast of the United States—is known as a community where “everyone signed” for several hundred years, a utopia in the eyes of many Deaf people. Currently, there exist around the world a number of small similar “shared signing communities,” for example, in Mexico, Bali, Israel, and Ghana. A few studies about these have emerged, which give some information about the social and cultural patterns in such communities. Deaf studies researchers have begun the process of “synthesizing” and theorizing this information, and have developed typologies based on “traditional” Western urban Deaf communities. This article critically reviews the existing literature and raises new questions regarding the study and theorizing of such communities.

Journal Article.  8728 words. 

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

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