And there is another point of contention to consider in terms of deaf culture and its boundaries. Sue has had a cochlear implant. Jenny refuses one for herself but does not begrudge Sue hers. John, however, finds the surgery to be invasive, unnecessary, and potentially harmful. The harm John perceives is, in our interviews, still vague and unexpressed and yet there is a looming feeling (in me) that he feels Sue has betrayed "her" people. But Sue does not see it as such, more concerned with moving into her perceived "normal" role. Cochlear implants are a site of contention in the deaf world. Cochlear implants are seen as a way of becoming a full member of hearing culture, of joining the Audist majority, but are also feared as a destroyer of Deaf culture. If one does not see Deaf culture as part of one's own existence or, in extreme cases, unnecessary or even undesirable - and in even more extreme cases, nonexistent cochlear implants are simply a way of becoming "normal," normal being defined as hearing. But if one sees Deaf culture as where one lives, as vital and supportive, the cochlear implant is a destroyer, taking allies from ones own camp and moving them into the other.

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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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