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part of their identity, or as a useful rhetorical tool. Certainly, when some Deaf activists now claim Deaf (deaf?) people to be an ethnogenetic group of shared ancestry, this is an act of re-appropriating genetic knowledge in a society that still, predominantly, sees such genes as a defect. Yet the roots for this ethnobiological identitypolitics also share a longer history of geneticists propagating genetic knowledge as essential self-knowledge, and encouraging genetic awareness as a form of political empowerment.
1 Nance, ‘The genetics
-Ethnic Britain [The Parekh Report] (London: Profile
Books, 2000), pp. 15–16.
13 D. R. Gabaccia, ‘Nations of immigrants: Do words matter?’, The Pluralist,
5:3 (2010); D. R. Gabaccia, ‘Nomads, nations and the immigrant paradigm’, in Spickard (ed.), Race and Immigration in the United States, pp. 36–7.
14 Gabaccia, ‘Nations of immigrants’, pp. 26–7.
15 Gabaccia, ‘Nations of immigrants’, p. 27.
16 J. H. Liu & D. J. Hilton, ‘How the past weighs on the present: Social representations of history and their role in identitypolitics’, British Journal of
Social Psychology, 44
the pathologizing realms of science and medicine. Rather, it is a reclaiming actively encouraged by geneticists, part of a larger psychologization of genetic knowledge and identities that already started in the 1950s. A history of genetic deafness thus also is a cultural history of citizenship and identitypolitics, and of health professionals embracing health and disability activism as part of professional identity. Surveying these developments, it provides a deeper understanding of current discussions about the promises and limits of biomedicine, about
Collaborating for culturally sensitive counselling, 1970–1990
Marion Andrea Schmidt
increasingly diversified and politicized arena of deafness and disability, health care and health care activism. Promoting genetic self-awareness as an important part of individual identity and political empowerment, it actively took part in this politicisation – and, I argue, helped prepare a biology-based identitypolitics in Deaf activism.
Counselling the deaf – or being counselled by the deaf?
‘No single group’, Walter Nance claimed in 1971, ‘can profit more from [genetic] counseling than the hearing impaired’. 2 It was, he believed, ‘one universally
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26 John Welshman, ‘Compulsion, Localism, and Pragmatism: The MicroPolitics of Tuberculosis Screening in the United Kingdom, 1950–1965,’
Social History of Medicine, 19, 2 (2006), 295–312, p, 308.
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The English System
27 Ibid., p. 311.
28 Robbins, ‘British Space,’ p. 73; and, Jan Rűger, ‘Nation, Empire and Navy:
IdentityPolitics in the United
. , ‘ Mapping the Margins: Intersectionality, Identity, Politics, and Violence against Women of Color ’, Stanford Law Review , 43 : 6 ( 1991 ), 1241 – 1299 , and for more of my analysis using this framework see Chapter 5 .
58 Quoted in Shakespeare , T. , ‘ Nasty, Brutish, and Short? On the Predicament of Disability and Embodiment ’, in J. E. Bickenback , F. Felder and B. Schmitz (eds), Disability and the Good Human Life ( Cambridge : Cambridge University Press , 2014 ), pp. 93 – 112 , p. 95.
59 Daniels , N. , ‘ Normal Functioning and the