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Two cultures, one programme: Deaf Professors as subaltern?

Deaf instructors of American Sign Language have taught ASL in formal institutions of higher learning for several decades now, yet little is known of the challenges they face within those contexts. In this study, interviews with instructors of five ASL – English Interpreter Programs (AEIP) and four Deaf Studies Programs (DSP) in Canada identified a number of common themes in particular to the intersection of culture, power, and identity. Within a post-colonial framework differences were found in the discursive practices of the participants as Deaf or non-Deaf individuals. Evidence of systemic audism experienced by the Deaf staff was noted at a number of levels, perhaps due to the existence of a Grand Narrative of Hearing and a process of Worlding based on the ideology of the hearing majority. As a result perhaps some of the Deaf instructors were ascribed or adopted the role of subaltern, where they should have instead experienced substantial social capital. Copyright © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

from Deafness and Education International

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