Representations of Disability

  • Created by: ecotts
  • Created on: 02-01-18 11:23
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  • Representation of Disability in the media
    • Two sociological views
      • People are disabled by their physical and/ or mental impairments
        • It suggests the they need constant care from medical professional and their families
      • Barnes and Shakespeare
        • Disabled people are actually disabled by society, especially by prejudicial stereotypes and attitudes
          • meaning that they are segregated from the rest of society reinforcing the idea that they have to e dependant on abled bodies
    • Stereotypes
      • Barnes
      • He identified regular stereotypes of disabled people that appeared in the media
        • 1. Pitiable & Pathetic
          • Documentaries focus too heavily on disabled children and the possibilities for 'miracle' cures
        • 2. sinister & evil
          • They are often portrayed as criminal or monster
            • In the James bond films the villains have something physically wrong
        • 3. Atmospheric or curio
          • They might be included in drama in order to enhance and atmospheric or to add visual impact such as facinaioc
        • 4. super-cripples
          • Portrayed as having special powers, Blind people viewed with super hearing
            • For disability issues to be reported they have to be unexpected or heroic to be newsworthy
              • Channel 4, paralympic advert had the slogan meet the superhuman
        • 5. Sexually abnormal
          • It assumes that disabled people do not have sexual feelings r that they are sexually degenerate
        • 6. incapable of participating in community life
          • They are rarely shown as integral; and productive member of the community as students, parents, teachers etc
    • Telethons
      • Roper
      • Telethons like 'Children in Need" rely on the 'Cute' children to raise money
        • They are not representative of the range of disabled children
      • They are entertaining for the audience
        • rather than helping abled bodies in society understand the everyday life of what it is like to be disabled
        • Soap stars create a musical video such as using songs from les mis to entertain the audience
      • They confirm the social stereotype that they are dependant on abled bodies
    • Shakespeare
      • Media stereotype are 'Cude, one dimensional and simplistic'
      • Using the disabled as a character trait, plot devise or as atmospheric reinforces negative attitudes
        • It does not show awareness about the nature of disabilities
    • Tabloid newspapers
      • Watson, Philo and Briant
      • There has been an increase on the coverage of disability
        • however a reduction in sympathetic coverage
      • There are negative coverage on those with mental health conditions
        • 'hidden' disabilities as journalist describe them as we;fare 'scrounger's who were undeserving of benefits
        • "75% of incapacity claimants are FIT to work"
      • The negative coverage led th public to believe that many disabled people are frauds
        • They portray the disabled as claiming benefits and are undeserving


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