Selling the cochlear implant

Campbell, Fiona Kumari (2005) Selling the cochlear implant. Disability Studies Quarterly, 25 (3). pp. 1-16. ISSN 1041-5718

Text (Published Version)

Download (118Kb) | Preview


This article explores the power of rhetoric and representation, of marked bodies known to the hearing world as 'the Deaf,' and also an artifact branded as a cochlear implant (hereafter referred to as CI). The CI invokes a story of culture wars ostensibly about ontological disputation. The case study examines the conditions of the implant’s production, the kinds of commitments invoked in product development and the processes of bandwagoning that led to the creation of a cochlear implant black box. Argument concludes that the normalization of the cochlear implant is due not just to the obtainment of inter-organizational networks of 'relevant' social groups but was made possible through a deferment to negative ontologies of Deafness and the deployment of the inherent preferability of 'hearing' as social capital. The study concludes that technologies of cochlear implantation, by being promoted as a technology of 'treatability' in effect produce agreements and foreclose discussion on the contestability of the concepts of deafness, hearingness, aberrancy and normalcy.

Statistics for USQ ePrint 29345
Statistics for this ePrint Item
Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Access to published version in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Faculty of Sciences - Department of Nursing
Date Deposited: 28 Feb 2018 01:47
Last Modified: 28 Feb 2018 01:47
Uncontrolled Keywords: ontology; cochlear implants, Deaf culture, rhetoric, Disability Studies, deafness,hearing, science ethics; ableism
Fields of Research : 16 Studies in Human Society > 1608 Sociology > 160806 Social Theory
Socio-Economic Objective: E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970116 Expanding Knowledge through Studies of Human Society
Identification Number or DOI: doi:

Actions (login required)

View Item Archive Repository Staff Only