Paper Example. Deaf Culture vs. Hearing Culture

Published: 2023-04-09
Paper Example. Deaf Culture vs. Hearing Culture
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Culture Communication Languages Community Disorder
Pages: 6
Wordcount: 1531 words
13 min read

Culture refers to the set standards of a particular community. Examples of these values include norms, language, and traditions. The significance of a culture in any society is to determine how people conduct themselves. Communities may differ in their cultures, depending on how they associate with each other. There are various factors that contribute to cultural diversities. Beliefs and personality are the determinants of cultural differences in most of societies. Personality is important because it helps in determining the behaviors of an individual. A community has different kinds of people with different characters, which include; the majority and the minority. Under the majority, these are groups of individuals who have normal identities, such as the ability to hear and speak while minority groups of people are mostly individuals with different disabilities, for instance, the deaf and the blind. Disabilities are usually associated with the genes of a certain individual, and parents may transmit it to their offspring while others may develop it at the early stages of their lives. Most of disabled people vary in their way of conduct and more so how they communicate in order to fit into the existing environment. The paper will, therefore, look at some of the cultural diversities between the deaf and the hearing culture.

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In terms of communication, it is a guarantee for the deaf to face one another in order to communicate while in hearing culture, it is not a must to look at each other so as to communicate with one another; instead, eye contact may be used to convey specific messages. Deaf culture defines language as the of use sings to express certain information and these signs are usually accompanied by body language, and the use of facial expressions whereas hearing culture defines language is viewed as the use of spoken words to conveying certain information and the passing of the messages is contributed by the use of facial expressions and the body movements. Also, deaf culture is usually considered as nature; hence it is, therefore, difficult to treat while on the other hand hearing culture is viewed as a disability that is inherited from the parents and thus is believed to have some medication. Deaf culture is aware of facial expression and body language amongst themselves, whereas hearing culture depends on beliefs when it comes to issues relating to body language and facial expression.

For hearing culture, hearing certain cultural norms has to be followed, which are acceptable within their environment; for instance, waving a hand in front of the face of an individual is forbidden. On the other hand, in deaf culture, a person usually adheres to specific norms that rarely hurt others, thus leading to effective communication. Moreover, in deaf culture, a person is allowed to say what he/she feels by the use of sign language, which is rarely found in hearing culture. Deaf culture values the use of pictures rather than passing their information by use of words whereas in hearing culture, people prefer the use of words to as their means of communicating with each other.

The language used in deaf culture during communication is brief and straight to the point, even if it means targeting a person, whereas hearing culture adheres to ethics. In deaf culture, pointing at someone or something is accepted while in hearing culture, pointing at somebody is considered rude. Also, in deaf culture, an individual is not allowed to open their mouth while eating, whereas in hearing culture, it is accepted to open their mouth when someone is taking some food. In deaf culture, individuals usually have long explanations during the introduction of certain things, whereas in hearing culture, people who fall under this category usually have a short explanation when describing something relating to them.

Deaf culture rarely allows for the interruption of one another, especially during phone calls, whereas hearing culture enables some individuals to interrupt each other while they are communicating. Deaf culture rarely allows individuals to interrupt each other when angered while in hearing culture, people may interrupt one another by means such as yelling. Deaf culture provides room for the individual to repeat specific questions, whereas hearing culture hardly exposes the people into the repetition of the questions, and if it allows them, it is not until the individuals are asked to do so. In the absence of someone at his/her home, deaf people will have to wait until the time he/she arrives while hearing people looks for the way forward, such as leaving whenever they have not met with their colleagues, especially in their home place.

Prove that Deaf Culture is Indeed a Cultural/Minority

There are several proves that show that deaf culture is indeed cultural. Firstly, deaf people share a common interest, for instance, use of the same language for communication purposes hence enabling them to pass messages to each other. Also, deaf culture is evidence that it is a minority group since most of the people who are classified to be deaf have their needs not well gathered because the government usually prioritized the larger group of people hence exposing them to diseases such as meningitis and thereafter leading to their death. Deaf culture may be considered to be associated with minority groups of people because it is a problem that affects the specific individual but not the entire society. Deaf culture is mostly viewed by the people as a culture since most of the communication passed by a deaf person does have an intended message to the respective recipient; hence it is, therefore, difficult for some ethnic groups to understand it, especially those who have not to learn about deaf culture.

Theories that Prove that Deaf Culture is Indeed a Cultural/ Minority Group

Theory of Mind: Language and Cognition in Deaf Children

The theory of mind is based on the beliefs, understanding, and reasoning of deaf children. It is normally developed in a gradual manner such that deaf children may acquire it at their different stages of life. Deaf culture value this kind of theory because it helps them to predict their behaviors. The research has also found out that most of deaf children are always slow to adapt to the theory of mind (Chilton, & Beazley, 2014). Also, the theory states that children are rarely exposed to environmental interactions, thus making them be unaware of their own surroundings. The theory has also discovered that through social interaction, deaf children are able to communicate with each other in their various environments regardless of delays in language, therefore, deaf children may get access to the surrounding data by use of visual means.

The Theory of Deaf Identity Development

The theory majorly focuses on the recognition of different cultures. It differentiates the characteristics that are found in the deaf community from that of the hearing community. The research has found out that there are several factors that contribute to deaf identity. Education and the way of communication contribute a lot to the growth of self-recognition (Loughran, 2013). When it comes to education, deaf people suffer from challenges such as how they communicate with each other's, the school they are admitted to, schoolmates, and teachers' perspectives concerning their deafness and rare relationship with their colleagues.

Also, the students who studied in public schools may lose their identity as compared to those who pursue their educational curriculum in a deaf school. Perspective from different people clearly shows deaf is indeed a minority group, and hence they experience a lot of suffering in their various societies. Deaf culture also offers different modes of communication, for instance, use of pictures, signs, and speech. Deaf people may, therefore, suffer from identity because most of them are born by parents who have normal hearing ability; therefore, it is difficult for them to adapt to a new language at their various communities.


In conclusion, deaf culture is seen as a minority because it has norms and beliefs that should be strictly adhered to. Deaf culture may differ from hearing culture depending on the language used. The language used in deaf culture is brief while language while hearing culture hardly goes straight to the point. Deaf culture has been undermined by perceptions from different people hence interfering with their usual way of conduct. A different perspective from the people towards culture has tampered with the communication and education of deaf people. Deaf and hearing culture is limited the minority people because most of the rules are used within their surroundings. Deaf and hearing culture forbids some norms such that an individual has to be careful while sharing their messages. Deaf culture theories indicate that identity is developed through self-recognition. Deaf culture is also linked to understanding and reasoning before making a decision, thus enabling them to effectively relate with one another. Also, deaf culture is accompanied by the use of body language and facial expressions, while communication is rarely found in hearing culture.


Chilton, H., & Beazley, S. (2014). Theory of mind: are there wider implications from working with d/Deaf people? Disability & Society, 29(2), 184-197.

Loughran, S. (2013). Cultural identity, deafness, and sign language: A postcolonial approach. LUX: A Journal of Transdisciplinary Writing and Research from Claremont Graduate University, 2(1), 19.

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