This is the first book to consider both deaf and hearing perspectives on the dynamics of adult sibling relationships. Deaf and hearing authors Berkowitz and Jonas conducted interviews with 22 adult siblings, using ASL and spoken English, to access their intimate thoughts. A major feature of the book is its analysis of how isolation impacts deaf-hearing sibling relationships. The book documents the 150 year history of societal attitudes embedded in sibling bonds and identifies how the siblings' lives were affected by the communication choices their parents made.
The authors weave information throughout the text to reveal attitudes toward American Sign Language and the various roles deaf and hearing siblings take on as monitors, facilitators, signing-siblings and sibling-interpreters, all of which impact lifelong bonds.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I just finished Deaf and Hearing Siblings in Conversation and am all the richer for it. In a wonderful combination of academic writing and storytelling, Marla Berkowitz and Juith Jonas convey the unique challenges that deaf children and their hearing siblings encounter . I never thought about what happens when siblings cannot easily communicate in the same language. The book explains why learning sign language is so important for ALL members of the family, and why forcing oral communication for deaf children isolates them unnecessarily.
As I read about different famiy responses to living with a deaf sibling/child, I thought about how this book is relevant to any family living with a member who is "different"
The book was a pleasure to read and incredibly insightful as it gave a voice to all sides of the issue.
This is a good book for those working with the deaf. It gives a view of deaf culture and of family dynamics outside of that culture. I was saddened at times and heartened by different family tales. Much of the book is very academic, but there are well told stories to illustrate the authors' points. It does a good job of getting inside the heads of siblings both hearing and deaf, to understand each person's personal struggles. Good explanations of the problems, but no real suggestions on how to overcome family difficulties. I think anyone with deaf family members would profit by hearing the other side of the story as presented here.
I won this in a LibraryThing giveaway and was grateful for the opportunity to read it in exchange for an honest review.
Book gives insight into family communication styles between deaf and hearing family members. Beautifully written!
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