This book is concerned with a social group which is still largely approached in terms of handicap, impairment and disability, rather than with a full appreciation of its rich and variegated communicative and expressive practices. The action research reported here has been taking place in Italy, and it is with this mainstream culture that I have been coping in my work as an educator, a linguist and a researcher. Without necessarily falling into “the grass is greener over the fence” clichés, one can say that Deaf graduates in Italy are still rare while the UK, the US or Sweden boast whole departments devoted to providing the tools with which deaf students can obtain their degrees. Attitudes on the “we” side and on the “they” side tend to be culturally loaded, although, as we shall see, new evaluations and new perspectives have come to impinge on the way in which social configurations of deafness are constructed, both in the hearing mainstream and in deaf communities. Among the latter, a more pluralistic view of communication modes is increasingly replacing the traditional “oralist”/ “signers” dichotomy and the in/out-group conflicting membershipping, as the rich social networks developing in Deaf communities more and more involve code-switching, code-crossing – “use of non-ingroup varieties and styles for local effect”, as defined by Coupland (2001: 18) – and blended modes that do not fit an “either/or” choice of mode but rather tend to multimodal meaning-making with preferences for either end of the cline.

Working with the Deaf: Sociolinguistic, Intercultural and Educational Linguistic Perspectives

OCHSE, ELANA
2005

Abstract

This book is concerned with a social group which is still largely approached in terms of handicap, impairment and disability, rather than with a full appreciation of its rich and variegated communicative and expressive practices. The action research reported here has been taking place in Italy, and it is with this mainstream culture that I have been coping in my work as an educator, a linguist and a researcher. Without necessarily falling into “the grass is greener over the fence” clichés, one can say that Deaf graduates in Italy are still rare while the UK, the US or Sweden boast whole departments devoted to providing the tools with which deaf students can obtain their degrees. Attitudes on the “we” side and on the “they” side tend to be culturally loaded, although, as we shall see, new evaluations and new perspectives have come to impinge on the way in which social configurations of deafness are constructed, both in the hearing mainstream and in deaf communities. Among the latter, a more pluralistic view of communication modes is increasingly replacing the traditional “oralist”/ “signers” dichotomy and the in/out-group conflicting membershipping, as the rich social networks developing in Deaf communities more and more involve code-switching, code-crossing – “use of non-ingroup varieties and styles for local effect”, as defined by Coupland (2001: 18) – and blended modes that do not fit an “either/or” choice of mode but rather tend to multimodal meaning-making with preferences for either end of the cline.
Edizioni Libreria Cortina
1
112
9788882391133
Deaf; Deaf Studies; Sociolinguistics; Sign Languages; communication
E. OCHSE
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/2318/103971
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