Exploring linguistic and cultural identity: My personal experience

Jemina Napier*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

8 Citations (Scopus)


I am the eldest child of a deaf couple in England. My father was the only deaf person in his family, and he was raised orally. He learned British Sign Language (BSL) when he met my mother and now uses BSL as his preferred language for communication. He works in a hearingdominated workplace and regularly attends the local deaf club. My mother comes from a large deaf family, which has four generations of deafness, and she grew up with BSL as her first language. The few hearing members of her family can all sign, so for her, being deaf and using sign language were the norm. My mother was the first person in her family to get a university degree, which she completed without the assistance of note takers or interpreters. She began her career as a BSL teacher, moved on to training deaf people to become BSL teachers, and now manages a college department that offers BSL and BSL teachertraining courses. Thus she works in a deaf/sign language-dominated workplace. She regularly attended a deaf club while growing up and continued to do so once married, but does so less now.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHearing, Mother Father Deaf
Subtitle of host publicationHearing People in Deaf Families
PublisherGallaudet University Press
Number of pages25
ISBN (Print)9781563683978
Publication statusPublished - 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences


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