Deaf-Hearing family life: Narrative and counter-narrative

D West

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference Contribution (Conference Proceeding)


This paper brings together the narratives of three Deaf-Hearing families; narratives that bear witness to politics, discrimination, marginalisation, ignorance as well as to spirituality, love, care and celebration. In the UK, monocultural, multigenerational Deaf families are the exception rather than the rule; therefore questions of cultural knowledge transmission, reproduction and survival are endlessly troubled, contested and reclaimed in bicultural, bilingual Deaf-Hearing families, particularly in the face of dominant, mainstream ‘evidence-based’ discourses of disability, normalisation and inclusion, and, perhaps more troublesome, to a Deaf ‘oral’ history. Family stories repair and bear witness to misunderstood lives. They deconstruct and reconstruct poignant, joyful and distressing experiences of negotiation between Deaf and Hearing worlds, between acceptance and judgement, between personal and political. My aim in this presentation is to keep the families’ words and signs resonant, alive and visible, through a poetic, performative re-presentation of a selection of their stories, combining word, sign and image.
Translated title of the contributionDeaf-Hearing family life: Narrative and counter-narrative
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInternational Congress of Qualitative Inquiry
Publication statusPublished - 20 May 2011

Bibliographical note

Name and Venue of Event: University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
Conference Organiser: ICQI


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