De Clerck, Goedele
Fostering deaf people’s empowerment: The Cameroonian deaf community and epistemological equity.
Third World Quarterly, 32
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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/01436597.2011.604516
From its beginnings deaf studies has acknowledged that deaf people have their own ways of learning, knowing and viewing the world. A recently emergent culturally sensitive line aims to document indigenous sign languages and deaf cultural patterns in non-Western contexts. Employing the concept of deaf (indigenous) epistemologies as an analytical tool enhances insight into the diverse lives and experiences of deaf people both as individuals and as members of a community. This concept is explored through its application to a case study of emancipation processes in the deaf community in Cameroon. The challenges of an ongoing research process, a participatory and community-based approach, and the valuing of deaf indigenous knowledge in research are presented. These challenges also included negotiation of research findings and exposure of the Cameroonian deaf community to deaf indigenous knowledge on a broader scale in a way that fostered the community's empowerment and ownership of the present study.
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