"It's really shaped who I am" : identity in hearing siblings of deaf adults

Siou Shien Yeo
In the past few decades, there has been a surge of interest in the experiences and perspectives of siblings. The sibling relationship has come under scrutiny for its impact on life quality, life trajectory, and self-identity. Although interest in the perspectives of siblings has flourished, there continues to be a dearth of research on hearing siblings of deaf persons. This qualitative study seeks to help fill this gap by exploring the stories of hearing siblings of deaf persons in a
more » ... ve. The overarching question that guided this study was, "How do hearing siblings of deaf persons navigate their identities?" Semi-structured interviews were conducted with six hearing adult siblings of deaf persons. Questions were asked regarding the experiences of growing up with a deaf sibling, family life, and impact on life trajectory. A narrative analysis using the categorical-content perspective (Lieblich, Tuval-Mashiach, & Zilber, 1998) yielded an overarching theme of sameness versus difference, with four subthemes of 1) differential treatment 2) sibling de-identification 3) the (un)luck of the draw, and 4) boundaries. Participants navigated their identities through these concepts, articulating an understanding of the positioning of themselves and their siblings. All the stories told revealed that the sibling relationship has had a significant impact on participants' life trajectories and sense of self.
doi:10.14288/1.0073027 fatcat:ep7pultvr5ey5lbxuczwwmsxpu