Love Relationships Between Deaf and Hearing People in Denmark

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


Comunidad y cultura sorda


The purpose of this study was to shed light on love relationships between deaf and hearing persons in Denmark, from a sociocultural perspective. The phenomenon is relatively new in deaf culture. In the past, most deaf persons married other deaf persons because of the strong solidarity in the deaf community. Now we see an increase of deaf-hearing couples. My focus was to find out whether the informants experienced cultural challenges and dilemmas in their relationship, and what this means for their roles, identity and values both in family life and in social life.

The findings are based on five qualitative interviews with Danish deaf-hearing couples between the age of 25 and 55. I analyzed and discussed how the informants, both the deaf and the hearing, experience the challenges in their relationship in the everyday life in three respects: 1) family-life and identity (changing their identity during their relationship and views on sharing housework) 2) the cultural dimension (the informants experiences of crossing each other’s deaf and hearing worlds) and 3) the social dimension (challenges related to friends, family and neighbors and how impacts on their relationship). Finding a balance between different values and ways of living seemed to be a challenge for the informants.

During the analysis I used different sociological and Deaf Studies’ concepts (e.g. Deafhood) and authors (e.g. Bourdieu and Goffmann) to strengthen the understanding of how and why the informants experience their relationships differently. Also, I discuss power relations, cultural patterns and the social space reproduced and transformed in the relationship between deaf and hearing people.