This project tends to compare identity dynamics (see Pinxten, Verstraete & Longman, 2004) in different deaf
communities in an effort to provide a critical perspective on the cultural construction of the notions of deaf
culture and deaf identity currently being used in deaf studies. On a practical level, worldwide and especially in
developing countries, there is a strong need for deaf people to achieve their human, civil, political, social and
economic rights (Kiyaga & Moores, 2003; Wilson, 2005; Kauppinen, 2006). This study aims to explore
emancipation processes of deaf people in three different locations and to develop a general theoretical
framework (Yin, 1994) that can provide insights into (similarities and differences in) identity dynamics of deaf
people, as well as the factors that stimulate or prevent emancipation processes. To achieve this I examine the
1) How do deaf people position themselves and their local community in relation to hearing people and
2) How do deaf people define their deaf identity and membership in the deaf community?
3) Which factors stimulate and which factors interfere with deaf people’s emancipation process?