TERRITORIAL CONCEPTS AMONG TAMPA'S DEAF COMMUNITY
The deaf population of the United States has historically been viewed as a collection of handicapped individuals isolated from society and unable to cope because of an inability to hear. Deafness itself has traditionally been defined in pathological terms relating to degree of hearing loss. While hearing is indeed important in defining who is and who is not deaf, mere decibels of hearing loss do not provide an adequate measure of the impact of deafness on an individual. The present study suggests that deafness may be better understood when defined in cultural and social terms rather than pathological. The deaf are viewed as a native, but alien, minority culture t living within the matrix of the hearing society. The deaf community of Tampa has been studied as representative of this native but alien cultural group.