Deaf migration through an intersectionality lens

Steven David Emery*, Sanchayeeta Iyer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)
178 Downloads (Pure)


This article is based on an empirical research study of deaf migration, using an intersectional lens. The study of migration and the lens of intersectionality are increasingly being deployed in academic circles but both are very recent when it comes to the study of deaf people. Our key reason for using the lens of intersectionality is twofold. Firstly, we believe that it enables us to highlight the experiences of people who tend to be neglected in the scholarly literature–in this article, our focus will a case study of two Black deaf African migrants. Secondly, we want to encourage the reader not merely to ‘add’ migration as an identity/experience of the lives of a community of deaf peoples but to examine and explore the interlocking relations of power that they experience. We believe intersectionality is an ideal lens through which to do so.Points of interest In the literature on the study of disabled people when many identities are being examined it is not always clear if deaf migrants are included; in this article we do so. We studied interviews that had been held covering the life experience of two deaf migrants, which were undertaken within a larger research project. We found it useful to look at deaf migrants’ different experiences within institutions such as education and the Home Office, in relation to their identities such as ethnicity, gender, sexuality, class or religion We found that while deaf migrants experience discrimination and racism from deaf and hearing people alike, they also find means of solidarity and support from different hearing and deaf people and groups. It is suggested that social policymakers and deaf communities can miss or neglect deaf migrants’ wide range of life experiences–these need to be identified and included when forming policy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)89-110
Number of pages22
JournalDisability and Society
Issue number1
Early online date31 May 2021
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jan 2022


  • Deaf
  • deaf studies
  • intersectionality
  • migration
  • racism
  • sign language

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • General Health Professions
  • General Social Sciences


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