Volume 17, Issue 3
  • ISSN 1932-2798
  • E-ISSN: 1876-2700



Many legal systems have begun to adjust their social and linguistic practices to accommodate non-dominant social groups. However, linguistic diversity is often framed as an exception, and interpreters are viewed as a service to address these exceptions rather than as part of broader structural changes to enable access to justice. This article explores the access to and participation in the Spanish legal system of Spanish Sign-Language users (SSLUs) who are deaf or heard of hearing. Through semi-structured interviews with SSLUs, the article elicits their perceptions of the legal field. These data are analyzed from the perspective of self-determination theory (Deci and Ryan 1985) to identify how SSLUs’ psychological needs of competence, autonomy, and relatedness are linked to the social, cultural, and economic capital invested and distributed through social practices. The goal is to clarify how SSLUs’ habitus sustains or resists monolingual and audist ideologies establishing hierarchies between language communities.

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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): audism; capital; habitus; monolingualism; self-determination theory; social practice
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