Peasants, Warriors, and the Streams: Language Games and Etiologies of Deafness in Adamorobe, Ghana

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Abstract

A relatively high number of deaf people is indigenous to Adamorobe in Ghana. I collected a wide array of explanations for its high prevalence of deafness. Inspired by Wittgenstein, I frame these explanations as being produced during language games, and bearing family resemblances. Different explanations of deafness appear in different language games with different purposes. In some of these language games, it is the primary aim to explain deafness, and in other language games, explanations of deafness appear either as element or as strategy. There are family resemblances among the content of the stories and between aspects and qualities that appear in a constellation of relevance. The study of etiology in this case gives insight in social and moral relationships of deaf and hearing people with their physical environment, relatives, ancestors, neighbours and in interactions with the researchers that recorded the stories.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)418-436
Number of pages19
JournalMedical Anthropology Quarterly
Volume29
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)
  • Visual Arts and Performing Arts
  • Anthropology

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