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Predicament and Pilgrimage: Hearing Families of Deaf Children in Mexico City.

Authors
  • Pfister, Anne E1
  • 1 a Department of Sociology, Anthropology & Social Work , University of North Florida , Jacksonville , Florida , USA.
Type
Published Article
Journal
Medical anthropology
Publication Date
Apr 01, 2019
Volume
38
Issue
3
Pages
195–209
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1080/01459740.2018.1540617
PMID: 30468087
Source
Medline
Keywords
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

In this article, I trace the most salient features of Mexican families' complex journeys as they coped with the "predicament" of childhood deafness. Framing support seeking through the theoretical lens of pilgrimage brings into focus family introspection and captures their tenacity while facing culture-specific obstacles. Ultimately, families realized their quests were not about "fixing" their children's hearing, but finding more reliable communication in sign language. Pilgrimage, as a metaphor for the journeys described by participants, helps us understand families' realizations that the biomedical options most commonly available in Mexico City were of limited efficacy, and reveals collective desire for alternatives to these options.

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