"Mother father deaf" is the phrase commonly used within the Deaf community to refer to hearing children of deaf parents. These children grow up between two cultures, the Hearing and the Deaf, forever balancing the worlds of sound and silence. Paul Preston, one of these children, takes us to the place where Deaf and Hearing cultures meet, where families like his own embody the conflicts and resolutions of two often opposing world views. Based on 150 interviews with adult hearing children of deaf parents throughout the United States, Mother Father Deaf examines the process of assimilation and cultural affiliation among a population whose lives incorporate the paradox of being culturally "Deaf" yet functionally hearing. It is rich in anecdote and analysis, remarkable for its insights into a family life normally closed to outsiders.
Paul Preston manages the recently created national Research and Training Center on Families of Adults with Disabilities, located at Through the Looking Glass, a nonprofit organization in Berkeley, California. He is also Research Associate in Medical Anthropology at the University of California, San Francisco.
PART 1: WHEN CULTURES COLLIDE 1. Introduction 2. Interpreting Our Lives PART 2: FAMILY ALBUMS 3. Invisible and Profound 4. Views from the Other Side 5. The Alternate Family 6. Imperfect Mirrors PART 3: CHILDHOOD LANDSCAPES 7. A Song You Never Heard Before 8. Inside Out or Upside Down 9. The Heritage of Difference 10. Hyphenated Lives PART 4: A DISTANT WORLD CALLED HOME 11. Identity on the Margins of Culture Epilogue Glossary Notes Reference Acknowledgment Index