Signing and Belonging in Nepal
The author, a linguistic anthropologist, made numerous trips to Nepal between 1997 and 2006, living in the country for months at a time. She studied Nepali Sign Language (NSL) as a collection of overlapping but diverse practices, whereby recognition, belonging, and distinction within and across a DEAF social category are indexically produced. The book seeks to show how both personas and larger social formations like ethno-linguistic identity (e.g., DEAF), or nationality (e.g., Nepali) affect and emerge from interactive language use, while closely attending to rather than erasing all the rich variation that entails. She analyzes how these processes are mediated by participants’ ideological understandings of the relationship between the linguistic and the social, which sometimes treats that variation as a problem and sometimes as a resource.