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    Flourishing at the margins: an exploration of deaf and hard-of-hearing women’s stories of their intimate lives in Ireland

    Meehan, Grainne Patricia (2019) Flourishing at the margins: an exploration of deaf and hard-of-hearing women’s stories of their intimate lives in Ireland. PhD thesis, National University of Ireland Maynooth.

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    This research is an exploratory, qualitative study that advances knowledge on the intimate lives of deaf women in Ireland. It asks, how do deaf women experience and understand their intimate lives? Additionally, how are deaf women’s intimate lives contoured, what are the effects of this and how can we problematise this? I ask how we can reimagine new worlds where all deaf women flourish in their intimate lives and intimate citizenship - what are the ‘radical possibilities’? Through a critical analysis I argue that deaf women are positioned through an audist/ableist lens as ‘vulnerable’ at discursive and policy level. I contend this is grounded in hegemonic notions of deaf women’s bodies as deviating from the ‘norm’. I explore the opportunities for troubling these understandings in discourse and policy through deaf women’s own embodied knowledge and subjective experiences. As a deaf woman and researcher, I valued starting with the stories of other deaf women which were collected through twenty-nine one-to-one, in-depth interviews. I applied narrative thematic analysis to the data to centre deaf women’s insights. The findings from my research provide new knowledge and thinking on how deaf women learn and do sexuality, negotiate their intimate lives, as well as deaf intercorporeal encounters, and through this considers the role of ‘deaf social capital’ and ‘DEAF-GAIN’ (Bauman and Murray, 2014) in these spaces of resistance. This serves to highlight the collective and solidaristic aspects of flourishing. My research identifies new pathways towards flourishing for deaf women and how we might understand this in relation to intimate citizenship. Taken together the narratives tell a story of flourishing because of, not despite, being deaf. In this way my research reimagines ‘ways of knowing’ and promoting deaf women’s intimate lives to inform theory, policy and practice responses through deaf women’s own knowledge and experiences

    Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
    Keywords: exploration; deaf; hard-of-hearing; women’s stories; intimate lives; Ireland;
    Academic Unit: Faculty of Social Sciences > Applied Social Studies
    Item ID: 11186
    Depositing User: IR eTheses
    Date Deposited: 09 Oct 2019 09:54
      Use Licence: This item is available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike Licence (CC BY-NC-SA). Details of this licence are available here

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