A discourse of ‘abnormality’: Exploring discussions of people living in Australia with a deafness or hearing loss

Ferndale, Dannielle, Munro, Louise, & Watson, Bernadette (2016) A discourse of ‘abnormality’: Exploring discussions of people living in Australia with a deafness or hearing loss. American Annals of the Deaf, 160(5), pp. 483-495.

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Adopting a social constructionist framework, the authors conducted a synthetic discourse analysis to explore how people living in Australia with deafness construct their experience of deafness. An online forum facilitated access and communication between the lead author and 24 widely dispersed and linguistically diverse forum contributors. The authors discuss the productive and restrictive effects of the emergent discourse of deafness as abnormal and the rhetorical strategies mobilized in people’s accounts: fitting in, acceptance as permission to be different, and the need to prove normality. Using these strategies was productive in that the forum respondents were enabled to reposition deafness as a positive, socially valued identity position. However, the need to manage deafness was reproduced as an individual concern, disallowing any exploration of how deafness could be reconstructed as socially valued. The article concludes with a discussion of the implications of the deafness as abnormal discourse.

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ID Code: 94395
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Deafness and hearing loss, Discourse analysis, Discourse of deafness as abnormal
DOI: 10.1353/aad.2016.0001
ISSN: 0002-726X
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Schools > School of Psychology & Counselling
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2016 Gallaudet University Press
Deposited On: 05 Apr 2016 04:43
Last Modified: 26 Apr 2016 22:41

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