Sign language as virus: stigma and relationality in urban India

Autor/a: FRIEDNER, Michele
Año: 2018
Editorial: Journal Medical Anthropology, Vol. 37, nº 5 (2018) pp. 359-372
Tipo de código: ISBN
Soporte: Digital




Drawing upon ethnographic research conducted in urban locations in India, I consider the relationship between stigma and contagion in the context of deaf peoples’ desires for and practices of communication in Indian Sign Language. If sign language can be considered or represented as a virus—and if it spreads between and among deaf people upon exposure—what might cure differentially look like, in a time when cochlear implantation and oral-based early intervention is increasingly becoming normalized? Considering the impact of stigma on multiple forms of relationality, I argue that sign language’s viral potentiality lies in its ability to transform and create new relationships and worlds.