Breaking the silence. The experiences of deaf people in East Flanders, 1750-1950

Begin - Einde 
2010 - 2015 (afgewerkt)



According to international literature, disabled people were relatively well integrated within their communities until the mid-nineteenth century, when as result of the industrial revolution and the medicalization process, they became an oppressed group. My dissertation subjects this rarely tested hypothesis to an empirical inquiry and provides unique insight into the social position of people with a hearing impairment in the past. The main part of the book is a social-demographic study, which makes use of the life-course analysis. The lives of  around 300 permanently deaf men and women are reconstructed and compared with the lives of their 300 able-bodied siblings, to supersede the extent to which deaf people lived an ordinary (integrated) or rather exceptional (segregated) existence over the period 1750-1950.