Citizenship and the Deaf Community

Steven D. Emery

Citizenship is a much-debated concept both in academia and the public sphere, and Dr Emery is the first person to systematically explore it in relation to Deaf people. A Deaf sign language user himself, Dr Emery engages directly with Deaf citizens on political topics such as voting, jury service, immigration, education, employment, and group rights. He then carries out a critical discourse analysis of their views and those of elite stakeholders.

Dr Emery has held many positions in the UK that involve working with Deaf people in the community, including development work, advice work and counselling. His findings indicate that normative definitions of citizenship are inadequate to effectively encapsulate Deaf citizens’ experiences. His analysis uncovers a ‘hidden dimension’ to citizenship, most notably its ‘phonocentric’ character, which leaves Deaf citizens at a perpetual disadvantage. He suggests that a process of renegotiation in the policy arena is needed in order to adquately reflect Deaf peoples’ experiences as citizens.

This book comes with a complete translation into British Sign Language on DVD.