Ana Luisa Gediel has been a professor at Federal University of Viçosa in the Minas Gerais state of Brazil since 2010. She holds teaching appointments in the Department of Languages, the Graduate Program of Applied Linguistics, and the Graduate Program of Social Anthropology. She obtained her PhD in social anthropology in 2010 from Federal University of Porto Alegre in Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. Recently, she finished a postdoctoral program in linguistic anthropology at UCLA’s Center of Language, Interaction and Culture (CLIC). Her dissertation and current research focus on sociability between members of the deaf community through the internet in Brazil.


Sign Language Mediated by Digital Technology as a Link to Build Cultural Identities

In 2002, Brazil’s National Congress passed a federal law that recognized Brazilian Sign Language (LIBRAS) as a form of communication and expression for Deaf people (BRASIL, 2002). This legal status helped Deaf Brazilians advocate for access to an entire culture of signed language. Deaf Brazilian leaders started to disseminate their ideas and built strategies for the promotion of LIBRAS by YouTube. This proposal presents the status of LIBRAS by espousing ideological connections between LIBRAS and Deaf cultural identity. The subjects of the videos connect Deaf community members in their own language and promote specific aspects of deafness. This study was based on an ethnographic online approach, in which we argue that digital technology is a vehicle to disseminate Deaf leaders’ message about the value of LIBRAS in Brazil. Furthermore, ideologies linking LIBRAS and Deaf Brazilian identity are embedded in these discourses.

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