Deaf identity construction in Malaysia

Chong, Vee Yee and Mohd Hussain, Rosila Bee (2022) Deaf identity construction in Malaysia. Asian Journal of Social Sciences & Humanities, 50 (2). pp. 87-95. ISSN 2186-8484, DOI

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This paper focuses on the identity creation processes of Deaf people in Malaysian society using an intersectionality approach to issues of identity, disability, and Deaf studies. Deaf people belong to a marginalized community and typically experience stereotyped, prejudiced, and stigmatized treatment from the hearing community, which has a serious impact on their social and personal identity development. Without sufficient information about the process of identity creation for Deaf people, the hearing community cannot reduce inequality nor can it increase social integration and stability for the Deaf community. There is a paucity of research about this identity creation process in Malaysia, and few studies have used identity-related theories and Deaf studies to examine the issue. This study uses a constructivist point of view, employing an interpretive phenomenological epistemology in order to construct insightful accounts of participants' personal and interpersonal experience in mainstream society. The data was analyzed using methods associated with grounded theory and constant comparative analysis in order to reveal the extent to which they identify themselves, that is linguistic minority or PWD. The findings suggest that, on the one hand, mainstream society categorizes Deaf people as Persons with Disabilities rather than as a linguistic minority; on the other hand, without realizing it, Deaf people typically accept society's evaluation by identifying with it and playing the expected roles of PWD.

Item Type: Article
Funders: None
Uncontrolled Keywords: Deaf; Identity; Disability; Linguistic minority; Intersectionality
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare
Divisions: Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences > Departmen of Anthropology & Sociology
Depositing User: Ms. Juhaida Abd Rahim
Date Deposited: 27 Oct 2023 02:34
Last Modified: 27 Oct 2023 02:34

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