The Mask of Benevolence: Disabling the Deaf Community
The author of the pioneering history of the deaf When the Mind Hears now continues his advocacy for the deaf community with a hard-hitting, provocative new book. The Mask of Benevolence is at once a deeply moving celebration of the unique manual language and culture of the modern deaf community, a scathing indictment of the heedlessness and hypocrisies of many of its hearing "benefactors", and an expose of the ways in which the "experts" in the scientific, medical, and educational establishments who purport to serve the deaf actually do them grievous harm. With great eloquence Lane argues that the relationship between the deaf community and those who claim to help them resembles that between colonized and colonizer, resulting in the suppression of the oppressed group's language and culture--in the dehumanization of the oppressed to the profit of the oppressor. He shows, for example, how the "medicalization" of cultural deafness does more for medical professionals and the manufacturers of prosthetic devices (hearing aids, "bionic ears", etc.) than for deaf children; how the "mainstreaming" of deaf children in hearing schools actually obstructs their education--aiding not the students but the interests of various medical and rehabilitation specialists by putting a premium on their services. Impeccably documented, The Mask of Benevolence offers an impassioned and highly compelling case in support of embracing deaf language and culture, bilingual education, and the blessings of cultural diversity.
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I thought the book describe very well of the true environment I have seen every day, with the oppression of hearing people to Deaf people. Hearing people should read them, and learn something new about Deaf people.
Review: The Mask of Benevolence: Disabling the Deaf CommunityUser Review - Christina Lewis - Goodreads
Dry and boring writing, very one sided, and a little hypocritical. There are way better Deaf culture books out there. I wouldn't want to read another Harlan Lane book again if I didn't have to. Read full review
Hearing Representations of Deaf People
The Infirmity and Cultural Models of Deaf People
Colonialism Audism and
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