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Problematising the familiar deaf students as researchers of deaf people

Jones, Susan G. (2004) Problematising the familiar deaf students as researchers of deaf people. Qualitative social work, 3 (1). pp. 27-38. ISSN 1473-3250

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Abstract

The article is the result of tutor reflection and considers some dilemmas faced by Deaf students as they seek to work with d/Deaf and non-deaf people using a qualitative paradigm.1 Emerging themes are presented which challenge the appropriateness of academic research language in relation to sign language and the competing notions of Deaf people as invariably ‘experts’ or ‘the other’. Some case examples are given to stimulate debate. The position of Deaf researchers is related to that of ‘subalterns’ (Ladd, 2003) and seen as potentially ‘emancipatory’ (Truman et al., 2000). The article concludes by seeding the development of a new and critical paradigm of social work research among Deaf researchers and respondents within the seventh moment (Denzin, 2002) and therefore posing the question of how this will be achieved for students whose preferred mode of communication is sign language.

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