18 januari 2019 - 18 januari 2019
19:00 - 21:00


Online Zoom-meeting

Sara Goico: Doctoral Dissertation Defense

Sara Goico will sit for her Ph.D. Dissertation Defense

on her doctoral dissertation "The Social Lives of Deaf Youth in Iquitos, Peru"

on Jan 18, 2019, 10:00 am in SSRB 340 (7 PM Central European & Swedish time)

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Distinguished Professor John Haviland, Department of Anthropology

Professor Emeritus Kathryn Woolard, Department of Anthropology 

Professor Nancy Postero, Department of Anthropology 

Professor Emeritus Hugh Mehan, Department of Sociology and Education Studies

Associate Professor Emeritus Tom Humphries, Department of Communication and Education Studies

Professor Susan Goldin-Meadow, Department of Psychology, University of Chicago  


In this dissertation, I examine the social and communicative lives of deaf youth in Iquitos, Peru using a language socialization approach that combines ethnographic research with interactional analysis. I illustrate this approach using the data of three deaf boys, Luis, José, and Jeremy, whom I met while observing their regular education mainstream classroom in 2014. All three boys were similar in that they had no previous access to an established language. Their deafness precluded access to spoken Spanish, they had not received hearing assistive technology, and had not been exposed to Peruvian Sign Language.


Based on the existing literature, I began my research in Iquitos under the assumption that the deaf youth I would meet would be cut-off from the surrounding social world and would neither share a language with the individuals around them, nor have any language at all. Yet, through my ethnographic fieldwork, I found that these boys had remarkably rich social and communicative lives. They were integral members of their households, had friends whom they played with and had crushes on, were frequent customers at the family run shops in their neighborhoods, and attended school where they were busy doing the work of being students. The interactional analyses illustrate how the boys use their manual communication systems to navigate the distinct affordances provided by their home and school environments.


In this dissertation, I demonstrate how the language socialization paradigm provides an important advance to studying the communication of deaf individuals without access to an existing language. The language socialization approach sheds light on how these sign systems are co-created in interaction with a community of individuals and rely on a variety of communicative resources, including manual signs, vocalizations, eye gaze, body orientation, and the manipulation of objects. Additionally, this dissertation addresses the future possibilities for deaf youth growing up in Iquitos. I advocate for providing deaf youth with access to Peruvian Sign Language, as well as grassroots community efforts to address the numerous structural barriers that deaf individuals face as they move into adulthood in Iquitos. 


Arrangör: Högskolan för lärande och kommunikation