How social status matters to inclusive education: -communicative exchange and social standing among adolescents with hearing loss

Research output: Other contributionNet publication - Internet publicationResearch

  • Kim Sune Karrasch Jepsen
  • Steen Bengtsson
Micro-sociology has generally overlooked a decisive yet general condition of human socialization: how disabilities matter. This article outlines a micro-social social status theory to explore inclusive education among adolescents with hearing loss. Advanced medical treatment and hearing aids enable inclusive education across societies, but research highlights communication and peer relation challenges, indicating social barriers to inclusion. Social status is not explored much in the hearing loss field. Framing our theory against the backdrop of the biosocial model, social status is a basic evolutionary trait of normative and emotional attentiveness (evaluative) to each other's worth/standing in the encounter. Insider status derives from reciprocal exchange relations of attentiveness within primary reference groups, generating a person-to-group standing of equality. One-way exchange relations generate inequality, pushing towards outsider standing. In line with key insights from medical sociology, we define and explore hearing loss as a disability originating in variable but persistently constraining impairment effects: fatigue, miscommunication, and behavioural withdrawal from peer group exchange. A key contribution is a status continuum of insider, peripherical, marginal and outsider person-to-group standings. We employ the theory in a comparative case study of person-to-group classes among 15 adolescents with hearing loss in general elementary schools experiencing diverse social statuses compared to insider status at an independent boarding school supporting mixed peer groupings across disabilities and backgrounds. This shows how social status is decisive for inclusive education thus making boarding schools important alternative options to acquire insider status regardless of disability.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date4 Oct 2023
Place of PublicationOSF
Number of pages40
Publication statusPublished - 4 Oct 2023

ID: 368750932