Disability culture

              1: How did the young, African American men develop a new disability culture, according to Devlieger et al.? The
The post Disability culture first appeared on COMPLIANT PAPERS.

1: How did the young, African American men develop a new disability culture, according to Devlieger et al.?
The Young African American men developed a new disability culture of young African American men in the spinal cord injury unit of an inner-city rehabilitation hospital in Chicago. These young men all had similar experiences; a disability culture emerged in a group of African Americans who acquired their disability violently. First, is the perception of social alienation from family and fellow gang members. Second, is immersion in a supportive physical and social environment where disability meanings are produced, reinforced and passed on across generations. Third, is the development of personal narratives and metaphors that give meaning to disability, anchor behavioral changes and help to reconcile value conflicts. This allowed the re-examination of disability culture in white society and in specific disability cultures such as deaf culture and to suggest that while there are similarities across groups, disability culture is not monolithic.
Q2: How does the disability culture of these men differ from other disability cultures, according to the authors?
In the article it is mentioned that during the 1980s may debated about different concepts of culture and what would or could be meaningfully applied to groups such as disability, and even wider ranges such as but not limited to mental and physical conditions and spans of age, race, gender, ethnicity, social class and national boundaries (Scheer, 1994). At first inspection, a common disability life and experience did not seem to be something shared by all disabled people. After considerable debate, however, many scholars, and particularly disability activists, agreed that there is a unifying disability culture that emerges across seemingly divergent groups. While the debate continues, attention has shifted to defining disability culture, examining whether it is experienced by and applies to all disabled people and whether it develops in a monolithic or multicultural forms (Cohen, 1999; Hanchard, 1990; Meekosha, 2006). These group of young men allowed many to see that although the experienced acts of violence that caused their disability, they too are apart of the disability culture and share the four elements common to the development of disability and disability culture. The four commons elements the development of disability identity and disability culture: unification through the coalescence of disparate groups around common issues; communication through a shared appreciation of art, language, symbols, and rituals that represent disability; fortification in collective gatherings and expressions that strengthen the identity of disabled people; and, recruitment of new members. While this discussion was useful in focusing attention on the underpinnings of the disability movement, it left the impression that disability culture is common, monolithic and emerges in similar situations.
2. Keila Ottero
RE: Padden and Humphries
Q1-2: How does Tom’s experience support the idea that there is a separate, Deaf culture?; How does Carol’s experience support the idea that there is a separate, Deaf culture?
Both authors bring a perspective on how diverse and at times closed-minded the Deaf/HOH community can be seen, from an outsider’s perspective.
I explain;
Tom came from a fully hearing family/community and he was the only one with a disability, which was being Deaf, but he at first saw it as ‘hard of hearing.’ Not only that, but he was also treated as if he was the “only one” of his kind.
“In his hearing family and community, he had always been taught that he was special, that no other deaf person was like him, and that it was undesirable to be like other deaf people.’ (p.146)
So his understanding of Deaf Culture, was how the general hearing community saw it…through a medical/social lens. Which made him appear closed in when it came to the actual facts of learning sign language and the time it takes to know how and what to communicate. But during his time at Gallaudet University, he got to experience, witness, and most of all accept that he indeed was Deaf and that what he was taught since childhood was not accurate or correct. “As he learned the language and the way of life of the community, he came to believe that he was being rescued from a life where he had communicated with others on a very small scale” (p.147) On this same page, the one line/sentence that clarified this journey was “from learning about Deaf people, he had moved on to learn to be Deaf.” This shows that it is never too late to truly learn and discover who you are and how diverse your community can be.
While Carol on the other hand comes from a fully Deaf/HOH family(Grandparents, parents, sibling, and herself) along with being raised within the halls and teachings of the Gallaudet University (where her parents taught.) Carol went from a fully Deaf/HOH surroundings/safety net, into a fully hearing world. Since her parents were teachers at the university, they made sure that both Carol and her brother grew up in a bilingual environment. Teaching them signing and English language.
She was immersed in the hearing world, by the time she hit 3rd grade. Since her parents raised her to become bilingual, they thought she would be good in a general public school environment and out of their Deaf/HOH bubble (of sorts.) She did struggle with communicating properly with her new classmates, as well as feeling uneasy everytime she left her comfort zone and entered the hearing world {p.152}, “she wanted to know what it all meant” (p.153) to be within the hearing world.

Through her walk in the general population, Carol witnessed how hearing people saw Deaf/HOH. While Tom saw how some Deaf people would look or feel about the hearing community (as well as how they looked at those in denial.)

Q3: What were some of the anxieties that Deaf people experienced about embracing “culture” as their identity, according to Padden and Humphries?

A prime example of why they felt anxious, worried, and possibly even uncomfortable at times. Was that “Before sign language became so public, the language bonded the group of people together and kept alive the rich channels of cultural circulation.” (p.157) Meaning they feared the possibility of losing their ‘morse code’ and intimate connections from the hearing world. Case in point “part of their private use of sign language came from a desire to protect their private world” (p157)
You may wonder why Deaf/HOH people {or any disabled person} may want to keep certain things within their communities. But when we look back to our history and even today, many disabled people can become the center of abuse and harassment. So signing became their own private and intimate dialect.
Trust as a Latina their have been times that I worried and even feared a bit for the safety of my loved ones whose English is secondary. And this was a few years ago. So imagine how they must have felt. But on the other hand, ASL has become a STRONGHOLD within people seeing it on national TV and people WANTING to learn it, myself included.
Have I been anxious? yeah, why? Because I don’t want to mess up and disrespect an entire community. Especially knowing how precious this type of communication is.
Q4: What effects does embracing culture have on Deaf people’s political movement, according to Padden and Humphries?
“Separation allows Deaf people to define political goals that may be distinct from other groups. Inclusion allows Deaf people to work towards humanist goals that are common to other groups such as civil rights and access. In this way, the idea of culture is not merely an academic abstraction, but very much a “lived” concept.” (p.160-161)
Padden, Carol, and Tom Humphries. 2005. “The Promise of Culture” (Chapter 7) of Inside Deaf Culture. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press. Pp: 144-162

The post Disability culture first appeared on COMPLIANT PAPERS.



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