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Negotiating Deaf Bodies and Corporeal Experiences: The Cybernetic Deaf Subject


  • Thomas P. Horejes

    () (Department of Sociology, Gallaudet University, 800 Florida Ave NE, Washington, DC 20002, USA)

  • Christopher J. Heuer

    (Department of English, Gallaudet University, 800 Florida Ave NE, Washington, DC 20002, USA)


Deaf people negotiate their embodiment through corporeal experiences to provide a perception of what it means to be human. Some deaf people search for a framework where being deaf is human, not a disability. Other deaf people experience their deafness as a disability and use technology as a means to negotiate their embodiment and experiences. The role of technology or cybernetics, particularly cochlear implants, for the deaf will be examined as a way to understand cultural identities and diverse ideological perspectives concerning what it means to be deaf and normal. Then, this paper focuses on social constructed ‘bodies’ for the deaf using embodied theory and action as a part of a theoretical framework to showcase theoretical ideas and actualities of some deaf people’s lives and experiences. These discussions are ways to open dialogues and collaborative inquiries on larger important issues such as what it means to be deaf and, in essence, human.

Suggested Citation

  • Thomas P. Horejes & Christopher J. Heuer, 2013. "Negotiating Deaf Bodies and Corporeal Experiences: The Cybernetic Deaf Subject," Societies, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 3(2), pages 1-16, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:gam:jsoctx:v:3:y:2013:i:2:p:170-185:d:24999

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    More about this item


    deaf bodies; technology for the deaf; embodied experiences;

    JEL classification:

    • A13 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Relation of Economics to Social Values
    • A14 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Sociology of Economics
    • P - Economic Systems
    • P0 - Economic Systems - - General
    • P1 - Economic Systems - - Capitalist Systems
    • P2 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Systems and Transition Economies
    • P3 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Institutions and Their Transitions
    • P4 - Economic Systems - - Other Economic Systems
    • P5 - Economic Systems - - Comparative Economic Systems
    • Z1 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics


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