Crossing Cultures: A Sociological Perspective on Deaf and Hearing Intercultural Relationships

Autor/a: O'BRIEN, Dai; NUNN, Nicola
Año: 2015
Editorial: VII Deaf Academics Researchers Conference, 2015
Tipo de código: Copyright
Soporte: Vídeo digital


Comunidad y cultura sorda


Using Bourdieu’s theories of cultural, social and linguistic capital, we can examine the different capitals and values that Deaf and hearing people bring to intercultural relationships. These differences, resulting from differences in community involvement and access to each others’ community values and beliefs, can lead to tensions between members of the different communities. This paper aims to build upon the theoretical approach of Bourdieu using theories of Hall & Hall and Harris & Moran to examine the tensions resulting from cultural conflict between Deaf and hearing BSL users and to consider the consequences for intercultural interaction. This paper will examine factors that lead to enhancement of intercultural understanding and successful co-existence resulting in conflict resolution and better working relationships between Deaf and hearing people.

A sociocultural approach is taken in order to observe the values, beliefs and attitudes that underlie cultural behaviours. The works of Ladd and Lane have explored deaf/hearing relationships, exposing inequalities and exploitation; Napier, Sutton-Spence & Smith and Harris & Mohay have shown examples of communication affected by intercultural issues. Such examples will serve to identify cross-cultural issues prevalent in interaction and successful co-existence. Central themes of power, privilege and self, and marginalization will be explored and the benefits of intercultural relationships will be discussed. The paper considers the changing attitudes towards Deaf people that have shifted over the years alongside changing mainstream sociological perspective and highlights the advantages that shifting perspectives can bring to an oppressed group in society. It is hoped that this paper will point the way forwards to better intercultural relations between Deaf and hearing people in the future and a more productive relationship between cultures in various fields.