Exploring Tools to Evaluate Social Capital in 19th and 21st Century Deaf Communities

Autor/a: WALKER, John
Año: 2015
Editorial: VII Deaf Academics Researchers Conference, 2015
Tipo de código: Copyright
Soporte: Vídeo digital


Historia, Arte y Cultura


For the purposes of my PhD in Social and Historical Geography, I am focussing on the ‘evolution of social capital in the Deaf community from 19th century to 21st century'. Krishna and Shrader’s Social Capital Assessment Tool is an evaluative system which could be used to measure the extent of social capital in the Deaf community during two different periods. These two periods sit aside to a significant change in the political landscape of the Deaf community: in the early/mid 19th century education, sign language was embraced as the means of communication used by Deaf people (e.g. Brighton Institution for the Deaf and Dumb, est. 1841 clo. 1939) until the 1889 Royal Commission on the Deaf and Dumb, which argued for the adoption of Oralism (and the restriction on the use of signed languages). In current minds, the 19th century communities were 'imagined' as a 'golden era', where Deaf people had some position of authority and power. Therefore, I wish to explore how the assets and networks of the 19th century were formed/structured in order to understand the social capital of the Deaf community in that period. At a time of little resources provided from civic structures, the Deaf community were left to their own devises and created different spaces, places, networks and social structures that enabled them to live, trade and support the expression of their linguistic cultural identity. They depended on each other to relay information between deaf and non-deaf people, and form business transactions, entertainment, wellbeing activities, and knowledge exchange. The investigation will observe whether these structures still exist today or have evolved differently due to internal and/or external forces. The presentation on this piece of research will explore the tools used to evaluate social capital in times past and present. The tool will explore approaches to identifying the existence of populations, networks, commercial transactions, various social/educational/governmental systems including physical structures and social relationships.