University of Chicago
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Video Reaction Essay
Based on the video, it is easier to understand the cultural differences as opposed to seeing the deaf as a minority group. There is actually a whole culture of deaf people that interact together. It seems very pitiful but it’s actually quite amazing. To have something like loss of hearing or lack of hearing, most people couldn’t imagine the idea or how they’d react. The Deaf Culture created a community of them apart from what hearing people do.
To begin, the way they communicate may take most people by surprise. Not just with obvious lack of speech but also with how they keep eye contact, structure their sentences, and bluntly speak. When hearing people communicate they’re usually also on their phones while talking or looking away somewhere, not often looking the person in the eyes. When deaf people communicate they keep eye contact or else the sentences wouldn’t be comprehended. Typically eye contact for extended periods of time is seen as awkward or stressful, but it’s the only way for the deaf to understand signs due to no speaking.
Also, if a sentence isn’t structured correctly it could be misunderstood. The same goes for the Deaf Culture in their structures. With only having so many signs some words can mean different things depending on where they’re placed or with facial structures. This was shocking in the video because it’s a shock of realization that people do the same with spoken words. Not everything in Deaf Culture is as complicated as most people make it seem because what we see as complicated they see as normal and vice-versa.
Lastly on the topic of speech, people in the Deaf Culture have a very blunt way of speaking apart from hearing people. People in the Hearing Culture want for a person to not feel awkward or embarrassed by pointing out physical appearances. They just assume things like, “their hair looks messy because they were rushing,” or something of the sort. From the video, it seems the Deaf point out those small things in order for an explanation or just to understand the person a bit more. If a person were to say: “you’ve put on a lot of weight recently.” It would be seen as bad-mannered, ignorant, and crude to a hearing person. A deaf person, on the other hand, would see it as an act of caring and politely respond or explain the situation.
Aside from the way the two cultures communicate, not much is different. Everything is basically the same through what they wear, what/how they eat, etc. A deaf person is not a completely weird or special person, just a person with a disorder that’s vastly growing throughout the world. There are many different cultures around the world just as what the Deaf Culture is. Most, if not all, towns and cities have special schools and places specifically for deaf people and that reduces the interaction between the hearing and deaf. In America there are many cultures already and the Deaf Culture is a widely growing culture that should be accepted like the rest.
The idea of separating the two cultures, hearing and deaf, is idiotic in terms of understanding and reducing ignorance. Deaf Culture should be accepted and understood throughout the world instead of it being something a person can learn in their free time. There are actual people, humans, out there that go through life without hearing and it’s better for that to be understood rather than judged. The video showed in a new perspective how the Deaf Culture is a great aspect in the world and a wonderful thing to understand rather than to chastise and ridicule.