Cultural minority or disabled people?:determining the social representation of d/Deafness through discursive analysis

Nickels, Lindsay (2016) Cultural minority or disabled people?:determining the social representation of d/Deafness through discursive analysis. In: UNSPECIFIED. (Unpublished)

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Well established in the history of Deaf studies is the existence of two opposing perspectives of d/Deaf people, widely known as the cultural view and the medical view (Lane, 1995, 1999; Lane, Hoffmeister & Bahan, 1996). These perspectives, born from a sociological foundation, discuss society’s understanding of d/Deafness, be that as a cultural and linguistic minority or as pathology. Although these perspectives are quite well contested in society, both by the Deaf community and medical professionals, there has been little to no attention paid to the linguistic realizations of such ideologies. This study aims to fill that gap by engaging in a robust research design in order to discover the very intricacies of those realizations. It presumes that a difference in reference term (d/Deaf vs. hearing-impaired) can spark a particular discourse, one that serves the agenda of the ideology within which it is grounded. I argue that a multi-layered discourse analysis fixed in the tradition of Systemic Functional Linguistics (SFL) (Halliday, 1985; 1994; 2014) will reveal the ways in which these ideologies are nestled in discourse. Investigating the ideational and interpersonal metafunctions through a series of methods, such as transitivity (Halliday, 2014; Thompson, 2004), social actor representation (van Leeuwen, 1996), appraisal (Martin, 1999; Martin & White, 2005), as well as through a corpus analysis, will provide insight as to how these ideologies are woven into discourse to build a particular reality of d/Deaf people and how such a reality, or representation in this case, is evaluated and negotiated through discourse. My claim is that these analytical tools are the way in which linguistic realizations of ideologies concerning d/Deaf people can be parsed out and explained, in a CDA (Fairclough, 1989, 1992) sense, bringing to light the discursive mechanisms used to represent d/Deaf people as a cultural minority or disabled people.

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27 Apr 2016 12:38
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22 Nov 2022 14:16