Study Materials
Fall 2011
American Deaf Culture ASL 125
Lecturer Clyde Vincent
•What is culture?
•Define the meaning of
culture.
What is “Culture”
• values, beliefs, perceptions, and
behaviors
• shared by members of a society
• learned primarily through
language
• Success in crossing cultures
• This demands that one
learn as much as
possible beforehand;
•
Cultivates cultural
“informants” in
order to receive
mentoring as the new
culture is negotiated
Culture: Macro v. Micro
USA Macroculture
Cherished values and characteristics such as: fair play,
ambition, competitiveness, independence, equality,
and individualism
USA Microcultures
Sub cultures sharing attributes of the macroculture
while maintaining distinct values, norms, and
behaviors. One person may be part of several
microcultures
There is no standard
definition of culture.
• Culture: The system of shared
beliefs, values, customs,
behaviors, and artifacts that the
members of society use to cope
with their world and with one
another, and that are transmitted
from generation to generation
through learning.
•Clarify what it means
to study a culture and
the problem of
interpretation of a
culture
The term “culture”
• derived from two
Latin words
CULTURE
• “Cultura”
which means tending
• “Colera”
which means cherish
• Our culture is comprised of:
those things which we tend to cherish
those things which are important to us.
CULTURE
• “Cultura”
which means tending
• “Colera”
which means cherish
• Our culture is comprised of:
those things which we tend to cherish
those things which are important to us.
Over a hundred
definitions of culture
have been offered.
Anthropological Theories
Top – B. Malinowski, L.H. Morgan, E.B. Tylor, L. White, C. Geertz
Bottom – F. Boas, A.R. Radcliffe-Brown, J. Steward, M. Harris
• A diverse field of study
encompassing many different
approaches, methods, and
academic perspectives
• Have an understanding of the
general approach to the study
of culture including why, how
and what to study.
• Have the working
definition of culture and
the theoretical framework
used in the course for
analysis of the data to be
presented.
CULTURAL DIMENSIONS OF GREATEST
CONCERN
1. Surface Structure – visual aspects such as
language, videotapes, films, clothing, arts,
etc.
(Surface Structure usually increases the receptivity,
comprehension, or acceptance of messages.)
2. Deep Structure – values, beliefs,
philosophical assumptions, etc.
(Deep Structure conveys salience and determines
program or message impact.)
• What are the
key elements
of culture?
Subcultures
• The cultures of groups whose values and
norms of behavior differ from the dominant
culture.
• Members of subcultures interact frequently
and share a common world view.
• Subcultures share some elements of the
dominant culture and coexist within it.
Elements of Culture
Element
Examples
Language
English; Spanish;
hieroglyphics
Norms
Manners
Folkways
Cultural forms of dress; food
habits
Elements of Culture
Element
Examples
Mores
Religious doctrines; formal
law
Values
Liberty, freedom
Beliefs
Belief in a higher being
What are beliefs?
Beliefs are generalizations that you form to
make sense of the world and of your
experiences. They determine how events
are given meaning and are at the core of
your motivation to act.
Beliefs usually operate at an unconscious
and unquestioned level and also become
self-fulfilling prophecies.
Sathe’s Levels of Culture
Manifest
culture
Manifest
culture
Expressed values
Expressed values
Water
line
Basic
assumptions
Basic assumptions
Iceberg
Onion
A culture is a set of learned behaviors
of a group of people
•
•
•
•
born into a culture.
brought up to the values of the culture.
shaped by cultural values.
enculturated into a culture.
The Values in
Deaf Culture
Values are long range commitments to
ends that Deaf people share culturally.
Residential Schools
young Deaf children
– ASL
– heritage
– traditions
– role models
–
Language
ASL
– heritage
– traditions
– communication
– socialization
–
Clubs
socialization
– language (ASL)
– heritage
– traditions
– beliefs
– values
– rules for behaviors
–
Body
eyes
– hands
– ASL
– communication
– independent
– performance
– socialization
–
Young Deaf Children / Adults
future politics / leadership
– traditions
– heritage
– socialization
– ties
– keeping Clubs
– sports
– language (ASL)
–
Timeline of Discovery
Parents
School setting
Deaf community
As infants we begin to acquire our
culture from those around us • our parents
• siblings
• relatives
• friends
• teachers
• The wisdom of the group is passed down
from generation to generation. Not only is
culture learned, but it is shared with a very
large group.
Discovery of Deafness
Deaf
Parents
Subject #1
Subject #2
Subject #3
Subject #4
Subject #5
Subject #6
Deaf
adults
Peer
Groups
Interpreters Movies
Timeline
What is the “formula”?
Disagreements with terms
Pre1960’s
Manualism
Deaf World
Post1960’s
1960’s
Discovery of true
ASL language
Dr. William
Stokoe
Late
1970’s
After
1980’s
New phenomenal
thoughts about
language and
culture
Dr. Vernon McCay
Psychological
Revolution with
Tests
Change
consciousness
DPN - ASL
What is Deaf
Culture?
Carl Croneberg, 1965
• First to describe Deaf people as a group
sharing similar attributes
• Linguistic minority group
• Similar issues and everyday problems as
the hearing majority
• Used the term “group,” not “culture”
Deaf Culture:
Deaf vs. deaf
• Distinction first made by Woodward (1972)
– deaf refers primarily to hearing loss
– Deaf refers to social collectivities
• What’s the “formula” for an individual to be
considered Deaf?
What is Deaf Culture?
• Disagreements among
researchers
• Contradictory data from Deaf
Community
Kay Meadow, 1972
• Sub-culture created by the language
used
• Member of the culture if:
–1. deaf
–2. learned how to sign (at any age)
Carol Padden, 1980
• Not recognized by only their hearing
loss and signing skills
• Other critical factors, such as when one
learned the language
• Dissociation from speech was
introduced as an important attribute of
culture
Barbara Kannapell, 1989
“the bond of communication and
strong relationships, and shared
cultural beliefs and values make a
person a member of the Deaf
Culture”
Culture
a.) generalization
b.) breakdown
–1. Cultural relativism
–2. Ethnocentrism
–3. Enculturation
The Deaf Community
A Model of avenues into
Deaf community
membership and culture
A community is a group of people
•
•
•
•
Share common goals
Support the goals of the community
Cooperate in achieving these goals
Determines the ways in which the
community functions
• To organize the social life and
responsibilities of its members
A Map of Culture
Dimensions of Difference:
ASL and English
Based Cultures
• To record the main outlines of
any culture
• To identify “primary message
systems
• To examine each system in
relation to each other
• To obtain the result
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CULTURE - Seattle Central Community College