Year of Publication

2011

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Document Type

Thesis

College

Communication and Information Studies

Department

Communication

First Advisor

Dr. Donald Helme

Abstract

identity play an important role in how they communicate and interact with other individuals. One group in which identity construction and navigation is a difficult process is the hearing impaired population. In an effort to understand how these individuals construct their identity and navigate their hearing impairment, this study utilizes Communication Theory of Identity. Through the use of interactive interviews, the researcher was able to examine how 11 participants manage their identity as hearing impaired individuals. The interviews provided insight into the four layers of identity proposed by CTI – personal, relational, enacted, and communal – in the hearing impaired individual. The author discusses the themes within each of the four layers and the gaps present between the layers that emerged as the hearing impaired participants discussed how they navigate their hearing impairment. Furthermore, the implications of these themes and gaps within the hearing impaired individual’s identity, such as feeling disconnected from both the Deaf and hearing communities, are examined.

Included in

Communication Commons

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