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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Deafness in Swaziland: a social-cultural study of deafness at the Siteki School for the Deaf Buchner, Denise Lynn


Although the social and cultural position of deafness in Western nations is a topic which has received considerable attention, very little is known about the social experience of being deaf and living in a non-Western culture. The composition which follows derives from data which were collected over a ten month period and offers an interpretation of the social experience of being deaf in the Kingdom of Swaziland. By engaging narratives, images and discourse the composition henceforth tells a story about deafness in Swaziland which encompasses issues having to do with the deaf community in Swaziland, the creation of identity and the experience of personhood and liminality. From this project it becomes known that the experience of being deaf is a social construct which cannot be defined cross-culturally. Further, this project offers a view of deafness which describes deaf individuals in Swaziland who exist as socially valued members of their hearing communities.

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