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Geographies

  • By: Mike Gulliver & Mary Beth Kitzel
  • In: The SAGE Deaf Studies Encyclopedia
  • Edited by: Genie Gertz & Patrick Boudreault
  • Subject:Physical Disabilities, Otorhinolaryngology (Ears, Nose, & Throat)

Deaf geographies exist at the meeting point between Deaf Studies and human geography. They describe how society and social knowledge are built up as embodied humans encounter their environment and each other, produce interactive spaces through which they socialize and create/share knowledge, and then begin to shape those spaces into their environment. Deaf geographies treat all spaces as equal, and so represent a powerful critical tool that Deaf Studies can use to validate Deaf realities and explore the underlying power dynamics that shape environmental, social, cultural, and physical norms.

For over 200 years, commentators have been writing about deaf people’s unique relationship with space and each other by using geographical parallels. These have ranged from wondering what a deaf country might look like, through describing deaf ...

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