Cultural Perspectives in "Deaf in America"
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From the Paper:"The review from the New York Times on the front cover really says it best - "A fascinating glimpse into a world unfamiliar to most of us." Carol Padden and Tom Humphries do an excellent job walking the uneducated reader through relatable anecdotes and histories of a culture of people that often sits just below the radar of the general public. Padden and Humphries eloquently introduce their own personal interest and exploration that served as the backbone for their writings and follow up that introduction with exactly the heritage, identification, and culture they promise the reader.
"Chapter One describes the many different circumstances around which deaf children come to discover that they are, in fact, deaf. Varying family and community dynamics lead to a variety of tales about the moment a child discovers why he or someone else seems different. The most interesting thing I found in the chapter was that the physical condition of hearing or not hearing is not what carries significance, but rather the context within other, broader schemas in which the physical symptoms fit. There is no reason for a young child to notice a contradiction in the way he responds as opposed to how his parents respond to a given stimulus, so there is no reason to evaluate whether sound is a factor, or to what extent it is.
"Chapter Two provides the story of the Abbe de l'Epee and his rumored creation of signed language. Padden and Humphries, through their own initial reactions and realizations, tell us the story is not necessarily factual in every facet, but rather symbolic of the transition from a dark world without language or culture to a brighter, more stimulating place. Another folkloric tale provides insight that there are times when both gesture and speech would fail you, but the understanding of a fellow community member could be the difference between life and death. This need for a culture and a community speaks volumes about humanity, deaf or otherwise, and stuck out to me as specifically intriguing."
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Cite this Book Review:
Cultural Perspectives in "Deaf in America" (2014, October 05) Retrieved November 13, 2019, from https://www.academon.com/book-review/cultural-perspectives-in-deaf-in-america-154026/
"Cultural Perspectives in "Deaf in America"" 05 October 2014. Web. 13 November. 2019. <https://www.academon.com/book-review/cultural-perspectives-in-deaf-in-america-154026/>