Discussion: The Deaf and Belonging

The field of deaf studies refers to the discipline which explores the social life, culture, and peculiarities of interaction in the deaf community. This area incorporates numerous other disciplines such as history, geography, psychology, anthropology, and others (Kusters et al., 2017). Rather than focusing on the medical perspective of the deaf, the researchers investigate their body language, social standards, and other aspects (Wright, 2021). These people have always been looking to express themselves and be recognized. Even though deaf individuals have long been considered disabled, they have found a sense of belonging.

The deaf studies offer a perspective that the deaf have finally become recognized because they created their own community. These people are no longer discriminated against – they have a voice (Kusters et al., 2017). Even though it is difficult for individuals with hearing disorders to integrate into society, they find the means of creating their own culture. They create films, poetry, jokes, and different works of art, which brings them closer. They generally manage to live happily and contribute to the community.

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There are numerous areas that deaf people have influenced, such as art, cinematography, and others. The latter has dramatically developed over the years to provide individuals with hearing impairments with the proper experience of watching a movie. These films are produced for the deaf, but they also direct them for a better understanding of their culture. It helps better show the environment those people live in. Perhaps, one of the most known movies for the deaf is Le Pays de Sourds (In the Land of the Deaf) (1992), which presents a story of an interaction of the deaf culture and the development of sign language in France (Philibert, 1992). It is a powerful display of deafness where the protagonists demonstrate that this problem is no longer an impediment to having a wonderful life.

Sign language is widely used in the literature to provide those with hearing disabilities with a reading experience. Such books are generally developed in institutes dealing with deaf studies, and they help translate poetry, fiction, non-fiction works, and others. The translation tradition solidifies the understanding of cultural beliefs and values in the deaf community. Even though some genres are complicated to translate into sign language, such as poetry, visiting a performance is the best way to perceive it (Jay, 2021). For example, it is believed that the poet can better convey what they mean by facial expressions. Thus, literature for the deaf is of vital importance for educating people and sharing cultural facts.

Art is another area impacted by the deaf, which provides a deeper insight into these individuals’ feelings. There is a famous De’VIA movement formed by artists with hearing problems (Jay, 2021). By painting pictures, they aim to express their daily experiences while being deaf. Art is more than just painting for the deaf community; it brings these individuals together. It helps them share both positive and negative emotions and express feeling through the colors. Additionally, it is an excellent means of developing cognitive skills which affect perception.

In summary, people with hearing disabilities can lead ordinary lives as those without impairments. Deaf studies are concerned with investigating the culture, history, and community of the deaf and helping them better integrate into society without any constraints. Art, cinema, and literature significantly help these individuals assimilate into their culture. Moreover, these fields are helpful for engaging them in activities that make them express emotions and feelings. Finally, the deaf create their own culture, which can be further investigated from different aspects.

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References

Jay, M. (2021). Deaf culture values: Art and literature. Start ASL. Web.

Kusters, A., O’Brian, D., & De Meulder, M. (2017). Innovations in deaf studies: The role of deaf scholars. Oxford University Press.

Philibert, N. (Director). (1992). Le pays de sourds [Video file]. Web.

Wright, S. J. (2021), Deafnormativity: Who belongs in deaf culture? Disability & Society, 36(8), 1221-1239. Web.

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