Deafhood, coined by Paddy Ladd (2003), is defined as "a process by which Deaf individuals come to actualize their Deaf identity, positing that these individuals construct that identity to their heightened forms by various factors such as nation, era, and class."
Unlike the term "deafness" with its negative connotation, the term "Deafhood" comes with a positive whole perspective of humanhood. Below highlights some metaphysical differences between "Deafhood" and "deafness" based on a collective definition and discourse of the Deaf communities.
- a process
- positive experience of Being
- the use of natural languages of Deaf people
- disapproval of oralism (as a result from phonocentrism)
- language- and culture-oriented
- acceptance of who one is (nature and diversity)
- a state
- negative experience of oppression by hearing people with the desire for a medical or pathological "fix".
- a medical condition
- oppression of the use of sign language for speech language.
- favorism of phonocentrism
- hearing-oriented (audism), colonialism
Paddy Ladd. Understanding Deaf Culture: In Search of Deafhood. 2003.
Harlan Lane. The Mask of Benevolence: Disabling the Deaf Community. 1999.
"A look at the gulf that separates the deaf minority from the hearing world, this book sheds light on the mistreatment of the deaf community by a hearing establishment that resists understanding and awareness. Critically acclaimed as a breakthrough when it was first published in 1992, this new edition includes information on the science and ethics of childhood cochlear implants. An indictment of the ways in which experts in the scientific, medical, and educational establishment purport to serve the deaf, this book describes how they, in fact, do them great harm."
Bauman, H-Dirksen. Open Your Eyes: Deaf Studies Talking. "Colonialism and Resistance: A Brief History of Deafhood" by Paddy Ladd, pp 42-59.