Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

From Discrimination to Action: Understanding Empowerment in the Deaf Community
by Hamill, Alexis, Ph.D., Bowling Green State University, 2012, 120; 10630983
Abstract (Summary)

Although deafness is traditionally conceptualized as a medical problem or disability, about 500,000 deaf people in the United States identify as members of an ethno-linguistic minority that takes pride in being Deaf. Previous research suggests that D/deaf people face considerable discrimination and take action to empower their community. In the present empirical study, Deaf and hard of hearing adults (N=175) completed an online questionnaire to share their views of their D/deaf identity and their experiences with discrimination and empowered action. The present study proposed and tested a conceptual model in which identifying with the Deaf community directly contributes to taking action to better the situation of Deaf and hard of hearing individuals, and this direct relationship is mediated by perceiving discrimination against the group and experiencing emotional upset from that discrimination (affective group relative deprivation). Study results suggest Deaf individuals report taking action to empower the Deaf community and that their reports of motivation for empowered action varied by their endorsement of Deaf group identity. For individuals identifying completely with the Deaf community, experiencing discrimination and affective group relative deprivation motivated their action to empower their group, as suggested by the proposed model. However, for individuals who identify as bicultural (identifying with the Deaf and hearing worlds) discrimination and affective group relative deprivation were not mediating factors. Participants' endorsement of experiencing group-level discrimination and affective relative deprivation are presented. Implications of focusing on various types of Deaf identity and implications of community level empowerment strategies for the Deaf community are discussed.

Indexing (document details)
Commitee: Carels, Robert, Dimling, Lisa, Klopfer, Dale, Stein, Catherine
School: Bowling Green State University
Department: Psychology/Clinical
School Location: United States -- Ohio
Source: DAI-B 78/11(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Psychology
Keywords: Affective relative deprivation, Community action, Deaf community, Empowerment, Group discrimination, Group identity
Publication Number: 10630983
ISBN: 9780355012958
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