Deaf Transitions: Images and Origins of Deaf Families, Deaf Communities, and Deaf Identities

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Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 1996 - Social Science - 213 pages

`It addresses a key notion in feminist and emancipatory critiques of how we create an understanding of people's experience from the way they present it. This focuses on a fundamental principle for me in the search of knowledge, that we respect and value others' different ways of understanding and presenting their experience, and avoid imposing our own meanings and values on them. An important element of this, and one of the main themes in the book, is about the interaction of the counsellor, or interviewer or researcher with the material presented by people in their accounts. This book gives an important and considered insight into many of the issues connected with this theme, such as the way the counsellor or researcher brings their own experience to bear on the interpretation and understanding of people's narratives. It looks at the way we use and interpret narratives, stories or personal accounts. Here, I feel the book has great impact. This is a very imnportant book, exploring and challenging many of the assumptions and certainties that are adopted in the understanding of deafness and deaf people. By placing people's accounts of their experience at its centre, it seeks to redress the imbalance that has been created by our over-reliance on these assumptions and certainties.'

- Deaf Worlds

`The language and style reflect the fact the author is a trained counsellor and has a wide experience of writing for a professional audience. However, the book could also be useful for a wider readership as the chapters explore how deaf people find their place in the family and society. The text includes writings and interviews by deaf people which add an interesting and valuable aspect to the book … of interest to anyone wanting to read around the issues brought up for deaf people when faced with tranistions to be made within the family and the wider society.'

- National Deaf Children's Society

Deaf Transitions is a fascinating exploration of how deaf people place themselves in the contexts of both family and community, and forge their own identities. Mairian Corker lets her subjects speak for themselves through original writings and interviews, drawing from a cross-section of deaf society which spans gender, race, culture and sexual orientation. Their stories illuminate the lifetime searches of deaf people for personal meanings within and beyond the deaf world, and a social meaning which attributes positive value to being deaf.

A companion volume to Corker's `Counselling-The Deaf Challenge, Deaf Transitions' is a celebration of difference and a defiance of stereotypes. It is compelling, insightful and essential reading for anyone who works with deaf or disabled people, including counsellors, therapists, professionals in health, education and social services, and students in these areas.


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About the author (1996)

The late Mairian Corker was a freelance researcher, writer and trainer on all issues affecting the lives of deaf and disabled people. She published widely in the areas of deaf education, psychology and support services and was Editor of Deafness and an honorary editor of Disability and Society. Mairian, who was deaf herself, was a trained counsellor who used a flexible, integrated approach. She was also a seminar leader on the Counselling Skills and Attitudes Course for Deaf Trainees at Westminster Pastoral Foundation in London.

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