Representation of ability disability1

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  • 1. Representations of ability/disability
  • 2. What is disability?
  • 3. What is ability?
  • 4. What do we know about representation? • The term representation refers to “the way the media constructs aspects of real life” • Point of view, messages and values often underlie media representations. • Representations often reveal the dominant ideology of the culture which created them • Representations change over time
  • 5. • Victim or an object of violence • Pitiable and pathetic; sweet and innocent; a miracle cure • Sinister or evil • Laughable or the butt of jokes • ‘Super-cripple’/ triumph over tragedy/noble warrior • Atmosphere – curios or exotica in ‘freak shows’, and in • comics, horror movies and science fiction • Having a chip on their shoulder/ aggressive avenger • A burden/outcast • Non-sexual or incapable of a worthwhile relationship • Incapable of fully participating in everyday life 10 Stereotypes of disability in the media
  • 6. Jenny Morris (1991) argues that cultural portrayals of disability are usually about the feelings of non-disabled people and their reactions to disability, rather than about disability itself. Disability thus becomes: Many impairments are ‘hidden’ (dyslexia, visual impairments, deafness etc). ...a metaphor...for the message that the non-disabled writer wishes to get across, in the same way that ‘beauty’ is used. In doing this, the writer draws on the prejudice, ignorance and fear that generally exist towards disabled people, knowing that to portray a character with a humped back, with a missing leg, with facial scars, will evoke certain feelings in the reader or audience. The more disability is used as a metaphor for evil, or just to induce a sense of unease, the more the cultural stereotype is confirmed (Morris, 1991:93)
  • 7. What is the role of this disabled character? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uvTgvEzpSz Q
  • 8. The Paralympics 2013 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tuAPPeRg3 Nw&safe=active
  • 9. The Olympics 2013 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4cVrjFlt4hI
  • 10. Watch the following extract Consider: How is disability portrayed? How is ability portrayed? How is media language used to construct these representations? Remember, representations are complex and are not usually over-simplified stereotypes. The question to consider is, does the representation confirm or challenge typical notions of disability/ gender/ age/ etc. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AvNr5HknPAQ&list=PLbcK c4f6zPhQYuGY1FJgITS6_DZzEDcFz