Teckenspråkiga döva : Identitetsförändringar i det svenska dövsamhället
Sammanfattning: The objective of this study is to examine how the position of Deaf people in Sweden has changed from the postwar period to the turn of the millennium and what this change has meant regarding the relation to the majority culture and Deaf people´s view of themselves. Deaf people´s identity and its changes and the changes in society and in the Deaf community are analyzed within these frames.The questions at issue are illustrated starting from two empirical studies which both have an historical outlook. The first study is based on interviews with two generations of Deaf people. Theoretically the study is based on symbolic interactionism and sociopsychological theories on group identity. The second study is based on document materials and focuses on the internal process of definition in the Deaf community.Communication with those around you, confirmations from others and self-reflection concerning the deafness and sign language are components in the process of adopting the Deaf identity. The differences which do not depend upon generation, result in five typified perspectives: preserving with resignation regarding one´s own deviation from the norm; mediating with the focus on transcending deafness; struggling with an ideological focus on the language; individually oriented conquering; nullifying without an own system of reference.The internal discourse in the Deaf community constitutes different consecutive timebound characteristics such as subculture, counterculture and co-culture. The first area of differentiation exists in relation to society, especially with its educational system, and the second concerns the unity in the internal field of interaction. The cultural forms constitute changes in the identification with the group in the Deaf community, the relation to others and the position in the majority society.The cultural development in the Deaf community takes place parallel to that of society. The changes in society are reflected within the Deaf community and in its relation to society. Reduction of an explicit strive for recognitions implies that the position of the Deaf community in society is more visible than before.
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