ENCOUNTERS WITH BLINDNESS: REPRODUCTION OF THE CONTEXT OF NORMAL IN EVERYDAY INTERACTIONS BETWEEN EDUCATED BLIND INDIVIDUALS AND THEIR SIGHTED RELATIVES/FRIENDS

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2021-9
Özyurt, Ceylin
This thesis analyzes the understanding of the normal that is socially defined as the antonym of the stigmatized by centralizing sightedness and blindness and using the theoretical frame of Goffman’s Stigma Theory. The inquiry adopts sightedness and blindness not as individuals’ attributes but as contexts in flux in everyday interactions. In light of the relevant literature review, 20 face-to-face semi-structured interviews were conducted with twelve legally defined blind persons and eight sighted persons in Turkey - each participant has at least one relative or friend from the other group. The aim is to reveal how the context of the normal is encountered and re/produced in the interactions between the biologically sighted and the blind individuals. With a qualitative approach, interview data were grouped and analyzed in line with concepts of Performances, the first chapter of Goffman’s Presentation of Self in Everyday Life. At the end of this study, themes under which the normal of sightedness is reproduced and further discussed. The thesis argument is supported with the findings showing that the understanding of normal is socially constructed and reproduced in everyday interactions.

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Citation Formats
C. Özyurt, “ENCOUNTERS WITH BLINDNESS: REPRODUCTION OF THE CONTEXT OF NORMAL IN EVERYDAY INTERACTIONS BETWEEN EDUCATED BLIND INDIVIDUALS AND THEIR SIGHTED RELATIVES/FRIENDS,” M.S. - Master of Science, Middle East Technical University, 2021.