Deaf Culture Versus Deaf Community Essay

995 words - 4 pages

The Deaf community has a very strong body amongst themselves. They place a high emphasis on relationships. Someone who wants to become involved with the Deaf community must be willing to invest in relationships with a sincere heart. Insincerities will be noticed very quickly. These insincerities include avoiding eye contact, restlessness shown in body language, and failure to spend time to get to know the other person on a personal basis. These are all examples of habits that are accustomed to the Deaf community.In Deaf culture, there are pretty contrasting behaviors when compared to the hearing world. Here is a table (courtesy of http://home.inreach.com/torsi/culture.html) of some examples of these differences:Deaf Hearingattention getting devices: flicker the lights, stomping feet, and throwing things "Hey!"party guests tend to congregate in the kitchen (better lighting, easier to see everyone signing) living roomlong introduction rituals: where from? schools? parents? etc... "nice to meet you"conversation regulators: head nods and specific gestures "hmmm and uh-huh"eye contact ear contactfacial expressions "poker face"pointing permitted (pronouns!) pointing considered rudehugging after introductions is common shaking handsoverstaying/long good-byes short stays/short good-byescan "talk" with mouth full of food considered rudemisbehaving children cover eyes misbehaving children cover earsSo as you can see, being brought up in the Deaf culture creates many different habits that both sides take for granted. However, if one side tries to cross that line, it won't be long until someone notices. The main component of Deaf culture is the language. This is important because although the language is not universal, the structure appears to be worldwide. This is because of how deafness affects the way people think. People who become skilled in the language may (keyword: may) bond with the Deaf. It takes a great deal of effort to learn and communicate with them in that language. By doing so, it shows the value the particular person holds for the Deaf community. However, not all people who learn the language bond with the Deaf and their culture. Some people may be very proficient with their signing and/or interpreting, 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 as if they are being placed second in importance, since the reason for voicing is to provide clarity to the hearing.Another difficulty that Deaf people experience is the lack of social development skills. Many people have difficulty knowing how to relate with others, especially with hearing people....

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