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. 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, this concept has been around and talked about ever since very long in Deaf communtity, using the terms HEARING WAY/POSS, HEARING WORLD, and such.

What are some examples in hearing culture? And, Deaf culture? Many hearing people have no idea! "I've never thought of that before." "I don't know." "They are deaf and we are hearing?"

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, using aural-vocal artificats (e.g. earphones, 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. E.g. rows of desk-chairs in a classroom in a hearing classroom as opposed to a horseshoe-shaped seat arrangement in a Deaf classroom.

Normative/behavioral aspect

Normative aspect of culture is a set of rules of social interaction that outsiders can observe behaviors.

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. Hug greeting is a more common norm in Deaf culture than in hearing culture.

Cognitive aspect

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 you will find more information on Deaf culture and hearing culture, cross-cultural stories, experiences, and so through this website as well as other sources.

Related posts

Related posts: Deaf culture.

Or, hearing loss as in Deaf gain.

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