“Deaf Discourse”: The Social Construction of Deafness in a Bedouin Community

Autor/a: KISCH, Shifra
Año: 2008
Editorial: Medical Anthropology: Cross-Cultural Studies in Health and Illness, Vol. 27, nº 3 (2008) pp. 283-313
Tipo de código: Copyright
Soporte: Digital


Comunidad y cultura sorda


Among the Al-Sayyid Arab-Bedouin, the use of an indigenous sign language is widespread and provides the foundation of a signing community shared by hearing and deaf people. Cases with comparable high incidences of deafness have in recent years stimulated debates in diverse academic disciplines. Lacking an accurate term, they are regularly referred to as “Martha's Vineyard situations” and have often been oversimplified and romanticized. This article provides an in-depth analysis of a Bedouin shared-signing community and advocates closer investigation of both facilitating and disabling social practices, which would also allow better examination of comparable cases. This article concentrates on the shared use of sign language, the asymmetry it entails, and the manifold forms of translation and mediation that take place.