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Deaf Culture: Response to "The Enchanting Music of Sign Language" and Deaf Jam

Smawad's picture

After watching Deaf Jam and "The Enchanting Music of Sign" I realized a strong message that is conveyed throughout the two about Deaf culture and music or poetry. Deafness doesn't mean that deaf people can't or won't enjoy music, poerty, and art, it just provides them with an opportunity to experience them in different ways. Our societies are consumed by the "normal" or "traditional" way of experiencing something, that it excludes any other experiences no matter how beautiful and enjoyable it may be. A few questions came to mind after the discussions and videos/ movies we had this week:

1. I learned a lot about how Deaf culture is a culture of its own just like any other group, ethnicity, or nationality would have its own culture. What makes people think of Deaf culture as a group of people who "suffered a loss" rather than gained a culture? Why is it that humans like to see some cultures superior than others, while they are all distinct cultures with different languages, values, etc. Where do you think that aspect comes from? We have also seen something similar in the beginning of the semester, when one our readings focused on the "average person" yet intelliegence is seen as a "positive" trait that is beyond the "average" person. Meanwhile, disabilities are seen as a "negative" trait outside of the "average" person. 

2. Second, do you think disability culture that we discussed last week and deaf culture are the same thing, or could it be that deaf culture is a subculture within a larger disability culture? How would we think of the two cultures in relation to one another?