Mother Father Deaf: Living Between Sound and Silence

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Harvard University Press, 1995 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 288 pages
"Mother father deaf" is the phrase commonly used within the Deaf community to refer to hearing children of deaf parents. These children grow up between two cultures, the Hearing and the Deaf, forever balancing the worlds of sound and silence, as a sense of self and family forms. Paul Preston is one of these children, and in this book he takes us to the place where Deaf and Hearing cultures meet, where families like his own embody the conflicts and resolutions of two often opposing world views. Based on one hundred and fifty interviews with adult hearing children of deaf parents throughout the United States, Mother Father Deaf is rich in anecdote and analysis, remarkable for its insights into a family life normally closed to outsiders. Unlike others who have studied this community, focusing on pathology and family dysfunction, Preston lets a picture of hearing life among deaf parents emerge from the personal stories of those who have lived it. As they describe their family histories, their childhood memories, their sense of themselves as adults, and their life choices, these men and women chart the sometimes difficult middle ground between spoken and signed language, sameness and otherness, the stigmatizing and the stigmatized. Their stories challenge many of mainstream society's common myths and beliefs about hearing and deafness and illustrate the drama of belonging and being different as it unfolds within the self. In light of these personal narratives. Preston examines the process of assimilation and cultural affiliation among a population whose lives incorporate the paradox of being culturally "Deaf" yet functionally hearing. His book explores the culturally relative nature of families and the assumptions and expectations that all of us hold to be not only important but vital to our well-being as individuals and as a society.

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I do not recommend reading this book Mother Father Deaf. It was boring and talked about mostly the same stuff throughout the entire book. It was also very hard to read and understand some of the stuff the author (Paul) was talking about. He didn't make everything so clear in this book. The book basically just talked about how children of deaf parents have different opinions on how its like to live with and deal with parents that are deaf. Also how it was sometimes difficult being in both the deaf community and the hearing community. This book just gave basic information that you could've already known without reading the book in my opinion.  


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About the author (1995)

Paul Preston manages the recently created national Research and Training Center on Families of Adults with Disabilities, located at Through the Looking Glass, a nonprofit organization in Berkeley, California. He is also Research Associate in Medical Anthropology at the University of California, San Francisco.

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