Deaf identity, motherhood and transforming normalcy: an ethnographic challenge to disability studies' treatment of personal experience narratives
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[ACCESS RESTRICTED TO THE UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI AT AUTHOR'S REQUEST.] This thesis is a fieldwork-based examination of personal experience narratives told by Deaf and hearing mothers of Deaf children. Using participant observation and incorporating ethnographic reflexivity, I situate this thesis within the field of folklore and present it as a model for disability studies whose scholars seek to use narrative to further their goals of advocacy. I propose that an approach to narrative that includes methodological scope, an understanding of ethnographic responsibility, and the incorporation of various "writing culture" techniques presented by disciplines such as performance studies, is needed within disability studies to prevent an overly representative use of narrative. I present three strategies for evaluating narratives: comparative analysis, performative socio-linguistics, and an approach that echoes Elaine Jahner's treatment of life history as exemplary pattern.
Access is limited to the campus of the University of Missouri--Columbia.