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|Title: ||Capital gains: parental perceptions on the family and social lives of deaf children and young people in Scotland|
|Authors: ||Grimes, Marian Elizabeth|
|Supervisor(s): ||Paterson, Lindsay|
|Issue Date: ||2-Jul-2010|
|Publisher: ||The University of Edinburgh|
|Abstract: ||It is known that the educational and social development of all children and young people are affected by the
quality of communication within the family and by participation in social life and in activities outwith school.
Although deaf children tend to under-achieve educationally and to experience marginalisation within
mainstream groups, relatively little research has been located within family and out-of-school domains.
This thesis interrogates data which were collected as part of a national questionnaire-based survey of parents of
deaf children in Scotland. Quantitative and qualitative analyses of responses to closed and open questions
illuminate parental perspectives on the extent to which deafness-related issues influenced: the quality of
communication between their deaf children and family members; levels of friendships with both deaf and
hearing peers; the amount and nature of their children’s participation in cultural and structured social activities;
and parental facilitation of their adolescent deaf children’s independence.
Although the majority of respondents indicated no, or minimal, disadvantages, a sizeable minority reported
specific linguistic and social barriers which influenced key relationships and, in the case of activities,
precipitated marginalising experiences. Whilst some clear patterns are revealed, such as a correlation with level
of hearing loss and, in terms of parent/child quality of communication, with the hearing status of parents, there
was a persistent level of unexplained diversity among those experiencing linguistic barriers.
Limitations to the data restrict the generalisability of findings, although these have import in themselves. In
addition, new knowledge is derived from the application of symbolic capital as a heuristic lens. Evidence of the
diversity of family communication and ‘visitorship’ experiences are viewed in the context of linguistic access
strategy choices emanating from the complexity of each deaf child’s habitus. Indications of differences between
children of deaf and hearing parents, in terms of the balance of linguistic benefits and disadvantages, are
considered in the context of social and cultural capital which is accumulated through access to alternative deaf
and hearing networks.
It is posited that, in order for deaf children to be enabled to realise their highly individual linguistic potential,
and to optimise their accumulation of cultural and social capital, there is a need to address the imbalance within
the linguistic spectrum of assessments and resources provided by specialist educational services. It is further
argued that this should be within the context of a positive conceptualisation of deafness, and a holistic approach
to assessment and service provision.|
|Keywords: ||deaf education|
|Appears in Collections:||Moray House PhD thesis collection|
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