Hearing culture: a perspective from Deaf people

What often surprised hearing people is that hearing people do have a "hearing culture" that they have been unaware of. Yes, we have the term or this concept 'hearing people/society' in our language and Deaf culture.

The term "hearing culture" probably emerged around the term "Deaf culture" became adopted in the late 20th century. However, the concept has been around and talked about ever since in Deaf communtity, using terms as HEARING WAY/POSS, HEARING WORLD, and such.

There are three general aspects of culture: materialistic, normative, cognitive.

Materialistic level

Materialistic aspect is something people can observe concrete things of a culture. For example, in hearing culture, one can see concrete signs such as speaking using aural-vocal articulators, communication tools that use aural-vocal space, musical instruments, etc.

A flower centerpiece on the middle of a table is a common welcome. It's the opposite in Deaf culture, that flower centerpieces are often moved away.

Normative/behavioral level

Normative aspect of culture is a set of rules of social interaction that outsiders can observe behaviors, such as rows of chairs in a classroom, etc.

One of some examples is that hearing people become anxious if there is silence on the other side of a phone call when waiting without listening to music. Music is a must to calm down them.

Eye contact in hearing culture is less common and practiced than in Deaf culture.

Cognitive level

Cognitive aspect: Behaviors can be observed but thoughts, attitudes, beliefs, and values can be learned or observed through language. The hearing way of thinking or perceiving the world is typically highly phonocentric.

A few quick notes of the relatively cultural differences between Deaf and hearing culture in North America are as follows: individualistic (hearing) and collective (Deaf), more indirect (hearing) and more direct (Deaf).

Those examples above are only a scratch. There is much more that are not too obvious.

Related posts

Related posts: Deaf culture.

Or, hearing loss as in Deaf gain.