Impaired Face-to-Face Interaction Among Cochlear Implant Users: Towards a Micro-Sociological Framework

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The technological advance of cochlear implants (CIs) has provided deaf and hearing-impaired persons with new opportunities to acquire hearing and thus partake in social life on more equal terms. However, recent studies have also documented communicative and emotional difficulties for some CI users, in particular concerning how crowded and noisy situations may lead to high mental energy use and communicative constraints on social participation. Despite this accumulating evidence, few attempts have been made to provide sociological explanations of such aversive outcomes. Here, the authors develop and outline a micro-sociological framework suggesting impaired verbal interactions as a source of emotional energy drain and subsequent dis-integrations and estrangement in the social bond. The authors demonstrate the relevance of this theoretical explanation through a qualitative analysis of eight interviews with adults who had CIs placed as children. The authors discuss the implications of this framework and findings for CI research and users.
Original languageEnglish
JournalSocial Psychology Quarterly
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)75-94
Publication statusPublished - 2021

ID: 247597937