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ERIC Number: EJ934529
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 18
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1081-4159
Development of Deaf Identity: An Ethnographic Study
McIlroy, Guy; Storbeck, Claudine
Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education, v16 n4 p494-511 Fall 2011
This ethnographic study explores the identity development of 9 deaf participants through the narratives of their educational experiences in either mainstream or special schools for the Deaf. This exploration goes beyond a binary conceptualization of deaf identity that allows for only the medical and social models and proposes a bicultural "dialogue model." This postmodern theoretical framework is used to examine the diversity of identities of deaf learners. The inclusion of the researcher's own fluid cross-cultural identity as a bicultural "DeaF" participant in this study provides an auto-ethnographic gateway into exploring the lives of other deaf, Deaf, or bicultural DeaF persons. The findings suggest that deaf identity is not a static concept but a complex ongoing quest for belonging, a quest that is bound up with the acceptance of being deaf while "finding one's voice" in a hearing-dominant society. Through the use of dialogue and narrative tools, the study challenges educators, parents, and researchers to broaden their understanding of how deaf identity, and the dignity associated with being a deaf person is constructed.
Oxford University Press. Great Clarendon Street, Oxford, OX2 6DP, UK. Tel: +44-1865-353907; Fax: +44-1865-353485; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A