The Diversity Experienced by Left-Handers: Reports of Five Different Generations


This research aimed to understand how people experience the condition of being left-handed, trying to identify the characteristics of laterality and comprehend the person's relationship with family, school and work concerning this condition. It was possible to locate the difficulties faced by this group, the easiness and advantages of being left-handed, discussing the significance of this difference, and also the myths and prejudices faced throughout their lives. A theoretical study was conducted to clarify the concept of handedness, what causes a person to be left-handed or right-handed, left-handed throughout history and conceptions about this state. We worked with non-directive interviews, focusing on the life stories in the pursuit of understanding the constitution of the person, as proposed by Ciampa. Five women between 23 and 82 years old, represented different generations, which allowed us to identify significant divergence and change. The data demonstrate varied experiences, with cases of repression of handedness by family and school, and others in which there was no objection. Difficulties remained in the material aspect, such as using scissors and desks, for example. Left-handedness reaches a minority group and it involves some difficulties, but it is not a negative experience. The lefties are pleased with the condition, feel that belong to a group in which people recognize and cherish. Although throughout history left-handedness has been considered something allied to evil and negativity, today there is a new look. The left-handed like being unusual and standing out among the rest.

Author Information
Priscila Costa, Pontifícia Universidade Católica de São Paulo, Brazil

Paper Information
Conference: ACE2017
Stream: Education & Difference: Gifted Education, Special Education, Learning Difficulties & Disability

This paper is part of the ACE2017 Conference Proceedings (View)
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Posted by James Alexander Gordon