A unique look at the socialization of deaf children, and the educational methodologies used to teach them to "hear".
The Politics of Visual Language is a ground-breaking study of the political socialization of children who are deaf. Debate has raged for years over how to educate the prelingually deaf - those children who cannot acquire language "normally" (that is, orally and aurally). While the battlelines have been drawn by the proponents of oralism versus manualism and their hearing supporters, two linguistic dilemmas facing D/deaf people remain constant: a conscious choice is always made for them as to the way they will be taught, and either method of language acquisition results in a form of marginalization.
The Politics of Visual Language is a fascinating and unique perspective on the whole process of political socialization; unique because previous studies in this field have assumed that all participants in the process can hear. This work studies those who cannot hear and, while it attempts an impartial assessment of all educational methodologies, will undoubtedly raise new questions within the Deaf community and beyond.
Sociologists, educators, medical professionals, linguists, psychologists and political scientists will have to reconsider the emotional and political effects of current assumptions about the socialization process.