Cochlear implantation, colonialism, and deaf rights

Autor/a: LADD, Paddy
Año: 2007
Editorial: Washington, DC: Gallaudet University Press, 2007
Tipo de código: Copyright
Soporte: Digital


Comunidad y cultura sorda


This chapter examines the issue of childhood cochlear implantation against the background of the situation for Deaf people in the United Kingdom (with reference to other countries where relevant). It is my belief that one reason for the lack of success in critiquing or challenging cochlear implantation is that Deaf discourses in general, and Deaf studies in particular, have been overwhelmingly inwardly focused; Deaf issues are discussed almost in intellectual isolation from the wider political patterns of world events. Thus, this chapter takes pains to extend the frame of reference for discussion of this issue. In particular, the concept of colonialism,1 as it pertains to signed language communities, is used to frame and evaluate issues related to cochlear implantation. I also introduce a new concept of "positive" and "negative" biology as a bridge to similar emergent concepts in other disciplines such as women's studies. Wrigley (1996) concisely frames the issue: What new colony in the name of communications technology is sited on the body of the Deaf? What discovery by a new "Columbus" is re-enacted on this new "continent" of language and communication? Did anyone notice any natives?

En: S Komesaroff (ed.), Surgical Consent: Bioethics and Cochlear Implantation, pp. 1- 29