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Group 4

Presenters:
Jessica P. Creel
Kim Misener Dunn
Catherine T. Sturm

Development of Deaf
Identity:
An Ethnographic Study
McIlroy, G. & Storbeck, C. (2011). Development of deaf identity: An
ethnographic study. Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education,
16(4), 494-511. doi:10.1093/deafed/enr017

Overview of Presentation
A.
B.
C.
D.
E.
F.
G.
H.
I.

Group activity
Socio-cultural activity
Two perspectives: Medical
(norm) vs. Cultural
About the authors
Important information
from the authors
Review of the study
Discussion
Comments or questions
References

A. Group Activity

B. Socio-Cultural Identity

C. Deaf views on Binary Model: Medical vs Cultural

http://www.sorensonvrs.com/dhm_march_2015_interview_with_ben_behan

D. Background of Authors

Dr. Claudine Storbeck


University of Witwatersrand
Centre of Deaf Studies Senior Lecturer
Johannesburg, South Africa

Guy McIlroy
University of Witwatersrand
Centre of Deaf Studies Senior Tutor
Johannesburg, South Africa

E. STOP: Important Information from the Authors


For the purpose of the article (McIlroy &
Storbeck, 2011, p. 510):
1. deaf/Deaf marker of cultural identity
a) deaf emphasis on hearing status
(persons hearing loss)
b) Deaf persons cultural affiliation with
the Deaf community
2. DeaF linguistic/fluid nature of the
bicultural deaf persons identity
a) Situates between the Deaf (community)
and the hearing (see emphasis on the
F)

F. Review of the Study


(Fetterman, 2010)

I. The Problem
II. Choosing Research Approach: basic or
applied
III. Theory
IV. Research Design: Fieldwork
V. Formal Analysis
VI. The Ethnography

The Problem
PAST RESEARCH HAS SHOWN THAT

(McIlroy and Storbeck, 2011):

deaf persons educational experiences have a profound impact on how they perceive themselves
It is important for professionals who are impacted or work with deaf persons to gain a broader understanding of what it is
like to be a deaf person and how their identity is constructed
It is also significant because it recognizes the growing influence of the wealth of research into deaf identity
Prior to this study, there was no known study on Deaf identity in South Africa.

FOCUS OF THIS RESEARCH

(McIlroy and Storbeck, 2011):

gain a deeper insight into deaf identities, including the introduction of the DeaF identity,
include and integrate an auto-ethnographic account of the first authors personal transition from a hearing world into
Deaf culture and the development of his identity as a bicultural/bilingual DeaF person,
find out how a bicultural DeaF identity is assumed, and
start to develop a pool of research on deaf identity in South Africa

Choosing Research Approach: Basic or Applied


BASIC ROLE
Findings were reported in a journal and did not seem to seek funding for
study.
Problem was conceptual knowledge on deaf identity
Researchers used narrative tools
To explore knowledge, and
To better understand socio-cultural insights between the hearing & deaf
cultures

Theory
postmodernism actively negotiates between
multiple meanings and often competing
discourses, to redefine identity as fluidly
constructed, with multiple identities coexisting in
the rich multicultural postmodern landscape

(McIlroy & Storbeck, 2011, p. 495)

Research Design: Fieldwork


Type of study: Exploratory Qualitative Ethnography
Time spent in field:
Participants: 9 deaf participants
Authors role in study: active participant named Guy
Context: South Africa
Data Collection: Identity narratives, interviews and
inclusion of authors personal story (autoethnographic gateway)

Formal Analysis
DISCOURSE-NEUTRAL THEMATIC ANALYSIS (Wilbraham, 1995):

1.

2.

Coded participants dialogue into thematic categories


1.

Being deaf personal narrative, inclusion vs. exclusion, coming out, & communication

2.

School impact academic advancement, exclusion, pride, & reconciliation

3.

Deaf identity development self-description of identity & identity transition

DECONSTRUCTIVE CRITICAL DISCOURSE ANALYSIS (cited in McIlroy & Storbeck, 2011)

Reading of the texts from the dialogue which enabled the researchers to investigate and
understand their participants narratives from transition living in oppressed society to
empowered society

The Ethnography
A typical ethnography describes the history of the group, the geography of
the location, kinship patterns, symbols, politics, economic systems,
educational or socialization systems, and the degree of contact between
the target culture and the mainstream culture (Fetterman, 2010, p. 12).
LIMITATIONS:
Results supported the researchers problem of the need to adopt the
second wave of identity politics (Davis, 2002 in McIlroy & Storbeck,
2011)
Confirmed the notion that DeaF identity helps deaf individuals construct
their identity between deaf as in the medical perspective, or Deaf as in
the cultural perspective
Researchers hope to share their findings with teachers, parents, and
professionals about the multiplicity of what it means to be deaf.

G. Discussion
In what ways is this study different from
the case studies we have read for class?
How can a reader tell the difference
between a case study and an
ethnography?

Discussion (cont)
Last class we talked about ideational
theory and materialist theory - after
reading this study, which theory would fit
here and why?

Discussion (cont)
Was this study an ethnography study or a
ethnographically informed report? Explain.

Discussion (cont)
Think about your personal research
agenda how would you turn it into an
ethnography study?

H. Comments or
Questions

I. References
Davis, L. (2002). Bending over backwards: Disability, dismodernism and other difficult positions. New York, NY: New
York University Press.
Fairclough, N. (1995). Critical Discourse Analysis. Longman, Harlow.
Fetterman, D. (2010). Ethnography: Step-by-step (3rd ed). Los Angeles: Sage.
Leonard, A., Duren, D., & Reiman, J. (2002). Considerations for mediating with people who are culturally deaf.
CADRE (Consortium for Appropriate Dispute Resolution in Special Education).
McIlroy, G. & Storbeck, C. (2011). Development of deaf identity: An ethnographic study. Journal of Deaf Studies and
Deaf Education, 16(4), 494-511. doi:10.1093/deafed/enr017
Personal and Team Reflection Tasks [Online image].(2015). Retrieved March 27, 2015 from http://
volunteeralberta.ab.ca/intersections/intersection-resources/personal-team-reflection-tasks
SVRS. (2015, March 23). Deaf history Month: Interview with Ben Behan [Video file]. Retrieved from
www.sorensonvrs.com/dhm_march_2015_interview_with_ben_behan

http://

Wilbraham, L. (1995). Thematic content analysis: panacea for the ills of 'intentioned opacity' of discourse analysis?
Presented at 1st Annual Qualitative Methods Conference: "A spanner in the works of the factory of truth on
20 October 1995, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa. Retrieved March 29, 2015 from http://
www.criticalmethods.org/wil.htm.