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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Deaf culture: the problems of recognition within contemporary Kenyan politics
Author:Andersen, Marianne Søgaard
Year:2010
Periodical:Mila: a Journal of the Institute of African Studies (ISSN 1015-6178)
Volume:11
Pages:17-32
Language:English
Geographic term:Kenya
Subjects:physically disabled
political ideologies
educational policy
Abstract:Within Kenyan politics deafness as a sociocultural phenomenon is non-existent. Deafness is considered a disability on par with other kinds of disability and Kenya's educational system pays no special attention to the specific linguistic needs of the deaf. This seems to be determined by a national ideology aimed at unification of the Kenyan nation. On the educational level, this ideology states the purpose of the school as being the production of Kenyan citizens as opposed to differing ethnic affiliations. In practice this ideology overrules the claims to linguistic and cultural rights extended from within the deaf community. The deaf themselves claim that it is a question of conscious disregard and suppression. However, it is a matter of discussion as to whether the concept of a deaf cultural identity is comprehensible within the reality of Kenyan politics, where the quest is the unification of the country. The State ideology of unity rhetorically repressing diversity creates an educational deadlock for the deaf and creates a situation in which the deaf are preserved as politically and socially incompetent beings. This situation might well also apply, to a lesser degree, to the situation of other ethnic and tribal groups, creating in practice an implicit but highly potent ethnic discrimination. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]
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