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disability representation in the media

November 15, 2011

Definition of disability

A physical or mental condition that limits a persons movements, senses or activities.

The medical model is defined by there disability attempting to overcome that they are disabled. The media throughout history has depicted disability through the use of impairment. The media has focused on portraying impairment through the influence of the medical model of disability. Where disabled peoples inability to interact in normal daily life is a direct result of their physical and or mental impairment. Charles Dickens – a christmas carol- is an example of this where the -cripple- child of bob cratchit, tiny tim, is defined bu his disability and will only survive through medical intervention.

However it appears that the media have been slow to take on changes and all too frequently do not practise what they preach.

Use of disabled stereotypes -  the media continue to enforce disability stereotypes portraying disabled individuals in a negative un-empowering way.

in Paul hunts study in 1991 he identified 10 stereotypes that the media use to portray disabled people.

1. The disabled person as pitiable or pathetic.——————skins – Tony (disabled for a short time)

2. An object of curiosity or violence.—————–skins – Chris (brain hemorage)

3.sinister or evil.—————-Eastenders – David ( in a wheelchair)

4.the super cripple.————-Beaver falls – Finn ( nerv damage i.e. Same as steven hawkin)

5. as atmosphere.  ————-shamless – Patty ( in a wheelchair)

6.laughable.————————Glee-Artie ( in a wheelchair)

7.his/her own worst enemy.————-Eastenders-Stacey(bipolar)

8.as a burden.———————–Recovery-David(brain damage)

9.as non-sexual.————–diary of a call girl – Disabled man – name unknown

10. being unable to participate in daily life.—————-Eastenders- Geine (bipolar)

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