I Sign, Therefore I Am

I Sign, Therefore I Am

Juhana Salonen

Historia, uskonto & humanistiset tieteet


5,5 MB

DRM: Vesileimaus

ISBN-13: 9789528099123

Kustantaja: Books on Demand

Julkaistu: 18.11.2021

Kieli: englanti

9,49 €

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I Sign, Therefore I Am is the powerful story of a deaf young man struggling with his identity, and of his growth into a sign language user who is proud of his culture.

Being the deaf child of hearing parents and the only deaf person in my early surroundings: these were the foundations for the identity crisis I underwent in my youth. The crisis could have had a tragic end, but fortunately in my case it did not. It took years of searching, however, to finally grow into my identity as a deaf person and to adopt Finnish Sign Language as my mother tongue.

I wrote this book to share my life experiences with members of any linguistic or cultural minority. This is a highly topical issue in society, as such minorities are increasingly in the limelight.

Many automatically assume that minorities have it bad, and that their members deviate - in a negative sense - from the majority population also in other ways. This book offers excellent opportunities for seeing the world through a deaf person´s eyes and for correcting misguided views. At the same time, it provides compelling evidence of the benefits of deafness and sign language for both the deaf and the population at large.
Juhana Salonen

Juhana Salonen

I am Juhana Salonen, a deaf and sign language user from Finland. I work as a project researcher at the Sign Language Centre in the University of Jyväskylä.

Writing the book I Sign, Therefore I Am has been on my mind since 2002, because I wanted to share my experiences with people of other linguistic and cultural minorities. Their groups are myriad: immigrants, ethnic minorities, people with disabilities, Roma, and so on. This is a highly topical issue in society, as linguistic and cultural minorities are increasingly in the limelight. It would do the majority population good to hear the views and stories of various minorities.

The objective of my book is to draw attention to some of the special characteristics of sign language and deafness that are mostly unknown to the hearing community. I explore these from various perspectives, including scientific research.

The book features contributions from my mother, Sisko-Margit Syväoja, a trained specialist in Psychiatry who tells her own version of my coming of age, and the deaf professional photographer Jussi Rinta-Hoiska, whose pictorial story accompanies my written account.
There are also illustrative explanations of sign language. The book´s layout was done by another deaf professional, Tiina Särkkä. We wanted the deaf perspective , the visual aspects of sign language and its other advantages to be evident not only in the text but in the book as a whole.

Many people assume that things don´t go well for minority groups, and that their members are somehow anomalous in a negative sense. Delving into the life of minorities can open new perspectives. My book offers means for readers to engage in the world of the deaf; at the same time it provides compelling evidence of the benefits of deafness and sign language for both the deaf and the population at large. This, in a nutshell, is the aim of my book.

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