outside insiderHere it is important to explain what it means to be a "member" of the deaf or hearing impaired community. Davis does an excellent job describing his relationship to Deaf culture as the hearing child of deaf parents (Davis). One need not be deaf or hearing impaired to be included in Deaf culture. Members of the community have, however, each been affected by deafness. There are numerous deaf and hearing impaired individuals, from infants to the elderly, who are a part of Deaf culture. But there are also family members included - the hearing children of deaf parents, hearing parents of deaf children, hearing spouses and lovers of deaf individuals are each part of the community to differing degrees. Other members include caregivers and providers such as sign language teachers in the local schools and hearing administrators of community service organizations. I have also become a part of the local Deaf community, albeit a problematic one. Many community members have asked me about my involvement and I have given a number of answers, usually citing my student John as my primary reason. I explain that I have an interest as a novice Anthropologist. Or that I am interested in the linguistic structures of ASL. Many times I will often refer to the "mess" on campus, meaning the failure of the University to provide for its deaf students. This last argument seems helpful for many local residents are trying to build bridges from the local community onto campus. I believe I belong to a marginal class I refer to as "providers" which also included translators, high school teachers, and program administrators. This group sees Deaf as Other and, while they do their best to understand, often paternalistically push Deaf individuals toward hearing culture.
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john in context | jenny & sue
deaf:audist | hearing pedagogy | enfi | techno-teaching
city on the hill | "othered" outside
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