Deaf Culture

1830 words 8 pages
Deaf Culture
Carolyn Mason

I was interested in immersing myself with this group because they are a community of people that I’ve often wondered about. I’ve always wondered about the way they communicate with others and was it hard being deaf or hearing impaired in some ways. As myself, I learned that most people feel uncomfortable when meeting a Deaf person for the first time and this is very normal. When we communicate with people, we generally don’t have to think about the process. When faced with a Deaf person, we are uncertain which rules apply. We don’t know where to look, or how fast or loud to speak. When the Deaf person gives us a look of confusion, we don’t know how to correct the problem. Accept the fact that your initial
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Just as there are variations of skin color among African Americans, there are variations in hearing loss among culturally deaf people. People who are hard of hearing tend to be both admired and criticized within deaf culture because they seem more like hearing people.

One of the most dominant cultural patterns in the Deaf culture is collectivism. Deaf people consider themselves members of a group that includes all Deaf people. They perceive themselves as a close-knit and interconnected group. Deaf people greatly enjoy being in the company of other Deaf people and actively seek ways to do this. When Deaf people first meet, the initial goal is to find out where the other person is from and to identify the Deaf friends they both have in common. A person’s physical appearance is noted and remembered because it is the landscape for all signed communication. Sometimes a person’s name may not come up until the end of the conversation. Closely associated with collectivism is the importance of open communication. Having secrets or withholding information work against an interconnected collective. Another important cultural value for Deaf people is their language - ASL. Most Deaf people spend the majority of their lives with people who do not know ASL. It is only when Deaf people are in the presence of other Deaf people that all communication barriers are removed. It is obvious to most


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