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ERIC Number: EJ1064176
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015-Jun
Pages: 16
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 51
ISSN: ISSN-1938-8926
Deaf Culture and Academic Culture: Cultivating Understanding across Cultural and Linguistic Boundaries
O'Brien, Catherine; Kroner, Crystal; Placier, Peggy
Journal of Diversity in Higher Education, v8 n2 p104-119 Jun 2015
This exploratory study examined student responses to an interactive theater performance about the experiences of deaf students in the hearing culture of higher education. The theoretical framework for the study synthesized sociological work by Zerubavel, Foucault, and Bourdieu on construction and maintenance of institutional boundaries separating the "normal" from the "deviant." The authors designed a performance based on Boal's "Theatre of the Oppressed" in which a deaf student confronts the cultural boundaries between her Deaf culture and the audistic culture of academe. Students in 5 classes responded to the scene, proposing changes to the instructor's teaching that would facilitate boundary-crossing and "help" the deaf student. Surprisingly, a few students blamed the deaf student for her situation and said that the presence of the interpreter was distracting and detrimental to their learning. While the study was exploratory and limited by time constraints, the study adds to the growing knowledge base on use of interactive theater in higher education classrooms. The findings are positive enough to suggest future directions for theater as a classroom tool to make visible the situations of students whose identities and cultures continue to position them as outsiders to academic culture.
American Psychological Association. Journals Department, 750 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20002. Tel: 800-374-2721; Tel: 202-336-5510; Fax: 202-336-5502; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A