American Deaf Culture Essay

713 words - 3 pages

American deaf culture is a vibrant, living culture that is very sadly overlooked much of the time. It is very common for people to take the 'pathological approach' to deaf people, which is an approach that views deafness as a problem that must be cured and believes that deaf people should do what they can to fit in with the regular hearing society. However, most deaf people strongly disagree with this approach because they see themselves and their society as a culture. The deaf people in this culture do not view their deafness as a problem and many would refuse a cure if it was offered. Deaf people have their own literature, jokes, stories, language, greetings and really anything that any other culture has.
Greetings and gestures in American deaf culture revolve around visual and sensory input. A large wave would be the equivalent of saying hi and generally indicates a desire to talk. In situations where a one needs to get the attention of a deaf person, a gentle tap on the shoulder is considered polite, while moving ones hand in front of a deaf person's face in order to get their attention would be considered very rude. The language of the deaf, American Sign Language, employs many gestures in every day speaking. For example, rather than saying “that” or “this” one would simply gesture or point to whatever they are talking about.
The general lifestyle of the deaf is characterized by many specific traits that would often go overlooked by the hearing community. One example of this is clothing; deaf people tend to wear solid, dark colors, the reasoning being that ones hands are easier to see against dark colors. Due to the importance of seeing each others hand since it is their primary form of communication, dark solid clothes are the mainstay of their wardrobes. When it comes to things such as family relationships, work ethics, religion, and general attitudes, most of these are taken much more seriously by the deaf. Deaf people are aware that life may be more difficult for them when interacting with the rest of the world and they may be discriminated against. This often causes deaf...

Find Another Essay On American Deaf Culture

Deaf Culture History Essay

2157 words - 9 pages starting point of an identity within their culture as well as the hearing culture. In today's times, it is possible for a deaf family to characterize themselves as an all American family. For many centuries hearing people classified deafness as a horrendous misfortune. As reported by Doug Baynton (Historian at the University of Iowa), in the early 1800's most of the deaf people in America lived in segregated rural areas from one another, and with

Understanding Deaf Culture Essay

3057 words - 12 pages community recognizes individual achievements and talents, contributing to the group’s success is very highly valued. This is different than in American culture where great emphasis is placed on independence, self-reliance, achievement and individual success” (Smith, Lentz, and Mikos 2008: Viii). The Deaf community values group interaction. They want to work together. In general, Americans do not value working together to accomplish a single goal. A

The Deaf Community and Deaf Culture

1555 words - 6 pages , American Sign Language, developed. (Van Cleve & Crouch, 1989, Chapter 6,7) Human socialization is largely dependent on language and our use of language. One cannot fully comprehend Deaf culture if we do not understand the processes an individual goes through to learn what it is and what it takes, (including, but not limited to, one’s linguistic development), to be part of this, or any society as one who “belongs.” Like all cultures, Deaf culture

Deaf Culture and perspectives regarding deaf culture: Medical verse Cultural

548 words - 2 pages In recent years (beginning as early as 1980 with increased awareness of and acceptance of American Sign Language) it has become clear that one can adopt either of two opposing perspectives when interacting with the Deaf Community. While these perspectives have been given different names or labels by different authors and researchers, we will refer to the differing perspectives as the "pathological model" and the "cultural model." It is essential

Deaf Americans: Community and Culture

1868 words - 7 pages culture. There are approximately 35 million people in the United States who are considered deaf or hard of hearing (Culture and Empowerment in the Deaf Community). The majority of these deaf people struggle in the hearing world until they can find a connection to their deafness. They constantly hunger for language and a sense of truly belonging. Once they are exposed to the deaf community, American Sign Language (ASL) as the deaf language and

Discrimination Against the Deaf Culture

2336 words - 9 pages arguments and divisions with living in a hearing world without sound however, that absence will be a starting point of an identity within their culture as well as the hearing culture (Weta and Florentine films/Hott productions Inc., 2007). In today's times, it is possible for a deaf family to characterize themselves as an all American family. For many centuries hearing people classified deafness as a horrendous misfortune. As reported by a

The Deaf Community and Its Culture

1918 words - 8 pages that ASL continues to grow and spread as a language, so that Deaf people can gain an identity in this linguistic minority and have the support they need to feel good about themselves. Deaf culture is a vast and important part of American culture as a whole. It is these differences that make this country so diverse. I hope one day that everyone will learn at least the basics of Deaf culture and come to understand that deafness is not a disability, merely a difference in terms of communication and an entry into one of the most vibrant cultures of society.

Deaf Culture Autobiographies: Reverend Thomas Coughlin.

523 words - 2 pages whole thing. People at the nursing school didn't think he could do it and gave him all these reasons why. But for every reason he would give them an answer on how he could. It wasn't him being death that was a problem, it was them being closed minded.Thomas was born into a deaf family, went to a deaf school, and grew up in deaf culture. But because he wanted to be a priest he ventured out into the hearing world. Yet faced so many obstacles and

Eradicating the Deaf-World

1464 words - 6 pages child. That child should be around other children like themselves. It can boost self-esteem and make learning easier if they are in a more comfortable, natural environment. Mainstreaming Deaf children into public schools can rob them of the chance to learn and grow up in a place rich in Deaf culture and values, such as a residential school. Story telling in American Sign Language is a huge part of sharing culture at residential schools.As is other

Deaf Community Definition of "d/Deaf"

2072 words - 9 pages of not hearing, and the uppercase Deaf when referring to a particular group of deaf people who share a language -- American Sign Language (ASL) -- and a culture. The members of this group have inherited their sign language, use it as a primary means of communication among them, and hold a set of beliefs about themselves and their connection to the larger society. We distinguish them from, for example, those who find themselves losing their

The Deaf in Society

1503 words - 6 pages deaf can't hear they learn how to use there other senses in ways the hearing can't imagine. The second view is the cultural approach when interacting with deaf society. This point of view classifies the deaf as a group of individuals that share a common language. "In fact, American sign language is the third most used language in the United States," (Sign Genius). Another way the cultural view classifies the deaf is as a group of

Similar Essays

Deaf Culture Essay

1559 words - 6 pages head" (Halpern). This sign is meant to be an insult to those people who associate with hearing culture. It is easy to see why Deaf culture is so critical of those who assimilate with hearing culture because the Deaf have had a history of struggle and discrimination. Hearing culture has been critical of what Deaf people are able to do and have denied their existence. In the past American deaf people have been denied the right to vote, to

Deaf Culture Essay

1556 words - 6 pages Deaf Culture In mainstream American society, we tend to approach deafness as a defect. Helen Keller is alleged to have said, "Blindness cuts people off from things; deafness cuts people off from people." (rnib.org) This seems a very accurate description of what Keller's world must have been. We as hearing people tend to pity deaf people, or, if they succeed in the hearing world, admire them for overcoming a severe handicap. We tend to look

Deaf Culture Essay

2164 words - 9 pages In our country we meet people from all levels of society, whether it is the rich or the poor, or in this case, the deaf or the hearing, and in each level of society we see a unique culture. Deaf individuals, just as hearing persons, have their own culture. It may be difficult for the average speaking individual to understand, but the deaf population is becoming a world of its own, with their own culture, society, language and

Deaf Culture Versus Deaf Community Essay

995 words - 4 pages , but if they are unable to immerse themselves into the culture, the Deaf will not fully accept them.Many Deaf people are often bothered when people sign and voice at the same time. A common misconception is that Sign Language is English turning into signs. American Sign Language can not be signed and voiced at the same time. Doing so results in Pidgin Signed English (PSE), which is not favored by the Deaf culture. It causes the Deaf person to feel