In Latin, surd means “deaf” and the suffix -escence means “a process.” Combined, surdescence is the process of becoming Deaf. Surdescence provides a framework within which to examine the greater meaning of the process of becoming Deaf, what it means to be Deaf, and the development of Deaf identity.

Identity Formation

Identity formation begins with the familial and community groups into which individuals are born. Through socialization and interaction with members of their groups, individuals internalize the cultural values, norms, and worldviews of the groups. In the process, they also define who they are, develop a sense of membership in their community, and identify their role in the larger world.

Many members of minority groups face challenges in identity formation that members of the dominant society do not ...

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