Cover image for Deaf empowerment : emergence, struggle, and rhetoric
Deaf empowerment : emergence, struggle, and rhetoric
Jankowski, Katherine A.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Washington, D.C. : Gallaudet University Press, 1997.
Physical Description:
viii, 197 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Reading Level:
1380 Lexile.
Format :


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Material Type
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HV2530 .J35 1997 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

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Employing the methodology successfully used to explore other social movements in America, this study examines the rhetorical foundation that motivated deaf people to work for social change during the past two centuries.

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Choice Review

Combining the principles of historical analysis, ethnography of communication, and Foucaultian analysis, Jankowski examines the way in which rhetoric shapes the social movement of empowerment for the deaf. In a tightly woven braid of theory and story, this extremely well written study documents diachronically the conflicting pressures of dominance and resistance in which "Deaf people declare themselves to be more than beasts." The educational system emerges as the historical battleground where an ideological war between oralism and sign language is waged. The success of the "Deaf President Now!" protest at Gallaudet University in 1988 symbolized the abolishment of the "plantation mentality" and the struggle for "Deaf ownership." Jankowski focuses on the movement's counterrhetoric as well as on the coactive and confrontational strategies used to gain access to the decision-making process. She argues that the deaf social movement parallels the women's and Black Power struggles insomuch as they confront dividing dilemmas from both "integrationist" and "separatist" mentalities. Offering sharp insights, Jankowski's research combines practice with theory-building. Within a multicultural ideology and new humanitarianism, she extends her findings to a theory of community building. All levels. P. E. Herideen; Northeastern University

Table of Contents

Prefacep. vii
1 Introductionp. 1
2 A History of the Deaf Community in Americap. 19
3 The Struggle Beginsp. 37
4 The Political Forces of the 1960s and 1970sp. 67
5 The Deaf President Now Protestp. 99
6 Seeking a Diversified Americap. 137
7 Conclusionp. 163
Referencesp. 175
Indexp. 193