As with any other culture, there exists a set of shared experiences, attitudes and cultural norms that serve to identify and bring together members of the Deaf community while simultaneously excluding outsiders from entering the core group.
Each group has culturally devised behaviors, beliefs and values that serve as markers for who does or does not embrace the general worldview of the group.
When comparing the community of Deaf people with these groups, the commonalities are consistent between them all.
They, and the culturally Deaf, define themselves by what they are instead of what they are not.
They consider what they are to be a positive trait, because it is tightly connected to their culture.
For much of history deaf people were expected to adapt to hearing culture as best they were able or to be hidden or invisible.
Recently, especially in the United States, the existence of a Deaf culture has been increasingly recognized.
People without hearing loss can and do participate in the Deaf community.
For example, hearing children of deaf adults (commonly called "CODAs") can experience full acceptance within the Deaf-World, a term some deaf Americans use to describe their social network.
Those who view deafness as a disability -- known as a pathological perspective of deafness -- can be met with hostility by individuals in the Deaf community.
Such hostility may represent a reaction to the suspicion and hostility that many deaf people encounter during their lives.
Furthermore, Deaf parents know firsthand that Deaf people are able to live productive, fulfilling, and rewarding lives.