Article

Reflections on Identity

Irene W. Leigh

in The Oxford Handbook of Deaf Studies, Language, and Education, Vol. 2

Published in print June 2010 | ISBN: 9780195390032
Published online September 2012 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780195390032.013.0013

Series: Oxford Library of Psychology

Reflections on Identity

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  • Educational Psychology
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The importance of identity is highlighted by the explosion of publications on the topic, in view of the cultural and ethnic challenges the United States is facing and the ongoing focus on how individuals assume identities based on group associations. This chapter explores the various theories of identity development relevant to deaf identities, including the disability-based framework, the social paradigm, racial identity development models, and acculturation models. Information is also presented on the relationships between deaf identity classifications (culturally Deaf, culturally hearing, bicultural, and marginal) and psychosocial adjustment. Additional categories that are explored include those covering the hard-of-hearing constellation, as well as the ethnic constellation. Technological influences on identity, including hearing aids, cochlear implants, and genetic technology, are also the subject of scrutiny. Issues pertaining to the complexities of biculturalism as based on the Deaf–hearing paradigm are examined, along with current influences that reinforce the concept of a multicultural identity as opposed to strict biculturalism. Current evidence suggests an increasingly fluid nature of identity, depending on environmental pull and individual characteristics.

Keywords: identity; bicultural; deaf identities; deaf identity theories; technology

Article.  11248 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Educational Psychology ; Developmental Psychology

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