ERIC Number: ED296518
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1987-Mar
Reference Count: N/A
Social Alienation and Peer Identification: A Dialectical Model of the Development of Deaf Community.
This paper explores the role of social rejection and peer identification in the development of deaf community, by analyzing interactions through which deaf people are alienated from hearing people and identify with other deaf people. Life history interviews were conducted with 25 graduates of the National Technical Institute for the Deaf. The respondents described experiences of alienation which recurred over a lifetime of interactions with hearing people. Respondents frequently described themselves as isolated within their family, due to poor sign language skills of family members. During their school years, the interviewees continued to experience social rejection and isolation in interaction with hearing peers and found social acceptance and community with deaf peers. They later faced social alienation in their interactions with hearing people at work, while experiencing companionship and shared identity through relationships with deaf people in the community. Interviewees turned to deaf people in order to meet specific needs which were not met through interactions with hearing people: real conversation, information, close friendships, and a "family" relationship. An interactionist approach to understanding deaf community illustrates that, through accommodation and a greater acceptance of individual differences, the larger community can embrace all its members. (JDD)
Descriptors: Adults, Alienation, College Graduates, Deafness, Family Relationship, Friendship, Higher Education, Identification (Psychology), Individual Needs, Interaction, Interpersonal Relationship, Interviews, Peer Relationship, Rejection (Psychology), Social Adjustment, Social Attitudes, Social Isolation
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Department of Education, Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Rochester Inst. of Technology, NY. National Technical Inst. for the Deaf.
Note: For related documents, see EC 210 285-290.