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Title: "Since time immemorial until the end of days" : an ethnographic study of the production of deaf space in Adamorobe, Ghana
Author: Kusters, Annelies Maria Jozef
ISNI:       0000 0004 2733 7068
Awarding Body: University of Bristol
Current Institution: University of Bristol
Date of Award: 2011
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The typical life experience for most sign language-using deaf people in the world is one of problematic communication with the surrounding society. However, a number of 'shared signing communities' exist where, due to the historical presence of a 'deaf gene', both deaf and hearing people use a locally-emerged sign language with each other. A number of western writers have tended to perceive these as utopian communities. This ethnographic study of one such community in Adamorobe, Ghana, problematicises this assumption in its analysis of the community's deaf-hearing and deaf-deaf social relationships. To frame everyday life in Adamorobe, this study employs Lefebvre's 'spatial trialectics' which consists of three dimensions, Percu, Concu and Vecu. Firstly, it demonstrates how the deaf people are inherently part of the space produced in Adamorobe "since time immemorial until the end of days", by interacting naturally with hearing people through sign language, but also by producing 'deaf spaces' (Percu). Secondly, it explains how they conceive of these spaces by exploring the deaf inhabitants' sharing of certain ontological experiences and characteristics, summarised in the expression that "deaf are the same" (Concu). Thirdly, it examines the tensions and difficulties they experience in relation to their own ideas of what an ideal or utopian world would be like (Vecu). The study also identifies the recent profound effects of external practices and discourses on deaf-hearing relationships, which affect the way the space of Adamorobe is produced, and the way the deaf people produce deaf spaces. It is believed that the conceptual framework used in this dissertation has the potential both to advance the investigation of other similar communities, and the discipline of Deaf Studies in general.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available