Par Pierre Schmitt
École des hautes études en sciences sociales.
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La langue des signes est aujourd’hui reconnue en France au sein d’une loi dite sur le handicap. Victoire pour
Mots-clefs : handicap, déficience, catégorie, « disability studies », sourds, langue des signes.
English: In France, sign language is nowadays legitimated through a “disability law”. Considered either as a victory or as a pitfall, its diverse interpretations invite us to question the categorization of deafness as a disability, so that we might achieve a better understanding of why deaf people reject it and why institutionalized links between sign language and disability are disturbing. Looking for discourses and social movements which have contributed to the emergence of such a law, we will first pay attention to the shifting point initiated by the disability studies and then to the progress of the political agenda of the “réveil sourd”. We will then share our thoughts about the stigmatization of sign language implied by the law. This will lead us to discuss the position of the “militant” researcher and the relations between politics, society and research.
Keywords: disability, impairment, category, disability studies, deaf people, sign language