In this absorbing story of the changing life of a community, the authors of Deaf in America reveal historical events and forces that have shaped the ways that Deaf people define themselves today. Inside Deaf Culture relates Deaf people's search for a voice of their own, and their proud self-discovery and self-description as a flourishing culture.
Padden and Humphries show how the nineteenth-century schools for the deaf, with their denigration of sign language and their insistence on oralist teaching, shaped the lives of Deaf people for generations to come. They describe how Deaf culture and art thrived in mid-twentieth century Deaf clubs and Deaf theatre, and profile controversial contemporary technologies.
Most triumphant is the story of the survival of the rich and complex language American Sign Language, long misunderstood but finally recently recognized by a hearing world that could not conceive of language in a form other than speech. In a moving conclusion, the authors describe their own very different pathways into the Deaf community, and reveal the confidence and anxiety of the people of this tenuous community as it faces the future.
Inside Deaf Culture celebrates the experience of a minority culture--its common past, present debates, and promise for the future. From these pages emerge clear and bold voices, speaking out from inside this once silenced community.
This well-organized and clearly written book provides a fascinating inside look at the development of Deaf culture… Padden and Humphries’s presentation of these marvelous insights into the history and development of the language and beliefs of the Deaf should be viewed as a welcome step in the quest to inform the hearing world of the rich and fertile culture of the authors’ beloved community.
Inside Deaf Culture is a fascinating account of the rise of group identity among deaf people… Padden and Humphries shed light on the rise of Deaf schools, social clubs and theaters from the mid-19th to the mid-20th centuries—a history that is unknown to many.
Carol Padden and Tom Humphries have done it again—and readers everywhere should be grateful. Almost twenty years ago, Padden and Humphries helped transform the nascent and promising field of deaf history with their path-breaking and still relevant book, Deaf in America: Voices from a Culture. In their current work, Padden and Humphries further explore formative ‘cultural moments’ in the deaf community—what they describe as the generative ideas and influences that shape how deaf people identify themselves… This book is a valuable exploration of the deaf community.
What a bold and courageous book! Carol Padden and Tom Humphries shed light on significant moments in the history of the American Deaf community. They show how struggles for power and dominance have run through their experience for more than a century, from coercive methods of teaching language to efforts of modern science to ‘correct’ and possibly even eliminate deafness—and with it, Deaf culture.
Inside Deaf Culture is a valuable addition to the growing collection of historical material about the Deaf community in the United States of America. It will add much to a better understanding of who we Deaf people are.
With writing remarkable for its grace, simplicity, and clarity, Padden and Humphries hold Deaf culture before our eyes for many faceted inspection. This book will be enormously important to ASL teachers, to teachers of Deaf studies, and to Deaf and hearing people who want to understand the Deaf World.
- 224 pages
- 0-9/16 x 5-1/2 x 8-1/4 inches
- Harvard University Press
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