We had Patrik Nordell from Sweden coming here to talk about Deafism. At his lecture, we learned many new scientific words. Here is an extracted of his lecture written by myself for the Week 10 in the Weekly Report.
Firstly, he showed a diagram below –
The table starts from the bottom to top. We, at the moment, are on Deaf & Deafism.
Many doctors and the society think logically and forget about human. (Kierkegaard). He also developed the theory of Existentialism.
Nietische said “why should we listen to science?”
Foucault wrote about gay and minorities discrimination, many Deaf-related philosophers’ (Ladd, Haualand and Lane) theories came the closest with his theories.
The theory of Post structuralism is linked with Ladd and Haualand’s type, the theories are based on a group which influences each other instead of individual measurements.
Comte’s theory on the list of importance (from top to bottom)
Looking at the list, Deaf/Deafism can be found in Sociology as a minority. Biology is where the unworkable ear is concerned. Therefore doctors automatically put it on the “priority” list of deafness.
Deaf people would never win in a battle against hearing society if we still follow Comte’s theory.
Patrik gave us a task –
We are to think of questions which a group of hearing would ask a Deaf person. We are to think of questions which a group of DEAF would ask another Deaf person. See below.
It is obviously that a group of hearing would ask those kind of questions in which Deaf people would think differently.
Positivism relates with data strongly. Patrik explained an example with a hammer from the hardware store. One person is expert on carpentry and the other is not. The expert would take the hammer and feel the weight. The other would pick the lightest one and probably the cheapest.
The expert DOES not need data, but the other do. Therefore it is the same with Deafism with so-called hearing experts on deafness. Deaf people do not require data because they knows, hearing do need data to understand deafness/Deafism.
Deaf philosophers start from the Ready-to-head and work their way to Present-to-head. They do research on deafness and what is required to support them. Those so-called philosophers for the Deaf ignore Indirectly communication and Language directly, jumping to Logistics in which they focused on the unworkable ear. (Cochlear Implants) This had lead to much confusion and misunderstanding within the Deaf community and the hearing society especially governments.
Audism was first used by Tom Humphries in 1975. It links with a discrimination of sign language and visual communication. Sometimes there is audism within Deaf people themselves who do not have enough belief.
To summarize his lecture, he asked us what are important within Deafism. We replied, with the diagram below –
The arrows shows how each can be achieved through. For example, Deaf Studies can be used to raise Deaf Awareness, thus reducing Audism. From the diagram, we see Deaf Community as a major role in advocating Deafism.
Deaf in the UK
Mette Sommer is a Sociology student in Denmark; she attended the Centre of Deaf Studies at University of Bristol for 6 months. She learnt a lot from Deaf in the United Kingdom.
She talked about the culture difference between Denmark and the UK. The UK tend to have a strong oral environment, they do use sign language, but with many lip reading and movements unlike some countries. Mette also commented on the way Deaf British dress, she thought they wore sexy outfits; it is a possible that an oral education may have influenced them to wear what “normal” (hearing) people wear.
She explained about the modules available at the Centre of Deaf Studies in the MSc course.
DEAFM1001 Deaf Studies in Perspective, DEAFM1003 Sign Linguistics, DEAFM1004 Research Methods in the Study of Deaf People, DEAFM1005 Deaf History and Deafhood, DEAFM1007 British Sign Language for Postgraduates
DEAFM2001 Assessment of Deaf Children in Educational Settings, DEAFM2003 Advances in Deaf Studies, DEAFM2004 Health and Mental Health in the Deaf Community, DEAFM2006 Multilingual Environment of the Deaf Schoolchild, DEAFM2007 Social Issues in the Deaf Community in Contact with Hearing Society, DEAFM2008 Deaf Culture and Deafhood, DEAFM2009 Sociolinguistics of Signed Languages, DEAFM2011 BSL Literature and Performance
University of Bristol has more modules for those who are interested in studying in BSc or Interpreting course.
Furthermore, she showed a video which was produced many years ago, to show that Sign Language is an important part of our life rather than oral. Dr. Paddy Ladd was the actor with Douglas Alker as the magician. Alker is the currently the Chairman of the Sign Community, better known as the British Deaf Association.
We learnt how British Deaf people live their life and how they advocated for their rights long time ago.