Examination Of The Representation Of Disabled People Sociology Essay Essay

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My thesis subject is an scrutiny of the representation of handicapped people in the media. This will affect an analysis of two media beginnings: One in which disablement is depicted negatively, and one which presents a more positive representation and is produced by handicapped people. I am interested to see how handicapped people choose to stand for themselves in comparing to the portraitures made by non-disabled people. The beginnings that I have chosen for the survey will be taken from the BBC website & A ; lsquo ; Ouch! ‘ and & A ; lsquo ; The Sun ‘ online web site.

1.3 Why I have chosen the subject

1.3.1 A personal position

My personal grounds for taking this thesis subject root from an involvement in how media representations shape the attitudes of wider society. I feel it is of import to observe that I am composing as a non-disabled pupil with the position that disablement surveies and research should non merely be the involvements of handicapped people. Issues of inequality and societal unfairness demand to be considered by all members of society, while guaranting that the positions, definitions and experiences of the peculiar group remain cardinal to the treatment. It has been made apparent that the voices of handicapped people have been absent from treatment because of the premise that they need others to talk them and make up one’s mind on their demands ( Barton, 1993 ) . Dominant positions of disablement dictate that it is a personal job of the person, based on biological damage. However, I strongly advocate a societal theoretical account of disablement which emphasises that subjugation and favoritism by society is the cause of experiences of disablement. I plan to do this my chief attack in composing my thesis. Barton ( 1996, pg. 5 ) describes disablement surveies within the field of Sociology as an & A ; lsquo ; emancipatory undertaking ‘ and argues that the cardinal inquiry we must inquire ourselves is whether & A ; lsquo ; the sociological imaginativeness contributes to thebenefitof handicapped people ‘ ( original accent ) I believe that any research which aims to light the biass implicit in cultural representations of disablement, are necessary chases and it is critical to earnestly see the logical thinking behind research undertakings every bit good as the ultimate impact they are aimed to hold on peculiar groups.

1.3.2 Attitudes of society and the mainstream media

There has been many publications sing disablement and media representation in recent times which highlights that disablement, damage and handicapped people are being often misrepresented in the mass media. Research has besides suggested that such media representations have an dismaying affect on the attitudes of the populace. This issue can be divided into three cardinal countries, the usage of disablement stereotypes, the usage of specific linguistic communication and images of disablement and the under-representation of people with damages working within the mass media. Pressures from handicapped militants and statute law such as the Disability Discrimination Act ( DDA ) 2005 have brought this issue onto the docket and worked to better the rights of handicapped people. An increasing consciousness of the issues has resulted. However, the extent of this consciousness is problematic as there is still much work to be done in undertaking the negative and disempowering portraitures within the media and the current positions of society. It is clear that the media has non made sufficient alterations and therefore this issue remains highly relevant. My purpose is to research the representations of handicapped people to see whether any alterations have been made.

1.3.3 Can Disability be represented positively?

It is safe to state that the bulk of media word pictures of Disability and damage are wrong and exclude people with damages from engagement within media production. During my hunt for literature on the issue of disablement and the media, I found that a significant sum of surveies were really critical of the media and concentrate merely on negative stereotyped portraitures with an inclusion of recommendations for their death. An illustration which I plan to utilize in my literature reappraisal chapter is Barnes ‘ ( 1992 ) & A ; lsquo ; disenabling imagination and the media ‘ which determinedly attempts to cover with all facets of the media in beliing disablement. Despite such an extended aggregation of surveies in this country, there is really small literature which focuses on the representation of disablementbyhandicapped people themselves. It could be argued that there are non adequate media beginnings which involve handicapped people of which to analyze. However really late I am cheerily surprised to see that there are a few emerging. Noteworthy illustrations include the Channel 4 ‘mockumentary ‘ & As ; lsquo ; Cast Offs ‘ in which six characters with different damages live together on an island. The show highlights many disablement issues and challenges stereotypes of disablement. Themes include gender, handicapped individuality and the exclusion of handicapped histrions and actresses from telecasting ( Wilde, 2009 ) . Other media beginnings which feature handicapped people include, & A ; lsquo ; Britain ‘s Missing Top Model ‘ and & A ; lsquo ; Dancing on Wheels ‘ . Although this is a measure in the right way, the inclusion of persons with damages on Television has been restricted chiefly to world Television which offers small penetration into the lives of handicapped people ; alternatively they are centred on strength and accomplishmentdespitethe person ‘s damage instead than a jubilation of handicapped individualities. The new American musical play & A ; lsquo ; Glee ‘ has considered disablement issues within its secret plan lines, this included the usage of wheel chairs during a public presentation in order to educate the able-bodied performing artists on the importance of sing the demands of wheel chair user & A ; lsquo ; Artie ‘ and the trouble in acquiring around the high school from his position because of the deficiency of inclines and accessible doors. Unfortunately nevertheless, the character of Artie is played by a non-wheel chair user and so any positive facets of disablement representation in the show are practically reversed by the exclusion of handicapped histrions and actresses from take parting.

1.3.4 The Sun and Ouch!

I wanted to take two online beginnings for my survey which were enforcing in footings of disablement representation and portraiture. Tabloid newspapers are ill-famed for picturing assorted groups inaccurately and bring forthing sensationalised media in order to sell newspapers. & A ; lsquo ; The Sun ‘ is a day-to-day yellow journalism newspaper which is among the highest in circulation in the universe ( The Newspaper Marketing Agency, 2010 ) . The usage of disablist linguistic communication is common in tabloid newspapers and frequently in the circulars excessively. Reports on a regular basis provide deformed representations of the experience of disablement and concentrate on stereotyped premises ( Barnes, 1991 ) . This subject will be expanded further in chapter three. I chose The Sun because of its popularity in the UK and because tabloid intelligence is a major beginning of information for the general populace, I will be utilizing articles from The Sun online web site. After choosing a yellow journalism beginning for my survey I began seeking for an online beginning which involved the self-representation of handicapped people, I dismissed many web sites because they were charity based, political in nature, or merely provided information and advice for handicapped people without needfully being based on the positions and experiences of this group. Examples of web sites I considered include & amp ; lsquo ; Radar ‘ and & A ; lsquo ; Disability Now ‘ . I chose & A ; lsquo ; Ouch! ‘ because it is non centred on disablement political relations and purposes to & A ; lsquo ; reflect the lives and experiences of handicapped people ‘ ( See Ouch! 2010, hypertext transfer protocol: //www.bbc.co.uk/ouch/about.shtml ) . The website consists of articles, web logs, podcasts every bit good as other characteristics. The authors and subscribers are non concerned with political rightness but seek to offer penetrations into the subjects that are of import to handicapped people and those with a & A ; lsquo ; stakehold ‘ in disablement such as household and friends. To guarantee that representations and portraitures of disablement are suited, the Ouch! squad are disabled themselves. My first feelings of the web site and its content were that it is really humour based and does non take itself excessively earnestly. It is friendly, accessible and taps into the ordinary, mundane experiences of disablement. This is why I decided it would be a suited beginning for comparing with a more mainstream media beginning.

1.4 Structuring my Dissertation

My thesis will dwell of six cardinal subdivisions. The first is my debut which will sketch the subject of survey, along with my grounds for taking it and my purposes. Chapter two will historicise disablement utilizing the work of Barnes ( 1991, 1996, and 1997 ) . Chapter three will discourse the bing literature which relates to my subject, this will include surveies of media representation and disablement, a treatment of the political theoretical accounts of disablement and the cardinal footings involved in the argument. In chapter four I will discourse my methods of research, including how I selected my beginnings and an scrutiny of the strengths and failings of my chosen method of content analysis. I will besides see any ethical deductions of the survey in this chapter. Chapter five will be my most of import subdivision, in this I will show and discourse my findings. The concluding chapter ( chapter six ) will be focused on my reasoning the survey. It will associate my findings to the aims presented in the debut and the issues raised in my literature reappraisal. It will besides include a contemplation of my chosen methodological analysis and a sum-up of the thesis.

2.0 The History of Disability

In order to understand the representations and social perceptual experiences of disablement today, it is necessary to analyze a history of Disability. The attitudes and patterns of the yesteryear have a critical influence on present twenty-four hours beliefs. Barnes ( 1997 ) argues that the lives of Disabled people in history have been overlooked in favor of an accent on medical positions and it is clear that many handicapped people experience exclusion from mainstream society. This is apparent in such countries as employment, in which 45 % of handicapped people of working age are excluded from. It has been found besides that handicapped people tend to hold lower net incomes, with handicapped work forces gaining on norm & A ; lb ; 1.50 less per hr than non-disabled work forces ( Hyde, 2001 ) . As a consequence, many handicapped people live in poorness or are at hazard of poorness. Discrimination can besides be seen within the instruction system public assistance, lodging, leisure and environment and planning.

& A ; lsquo ; The grounds that handicapped people experience sever economic want and societal disadvantage is overpowering and no longer in difference, whether it be from the authoritiess ain commissioned research, from research institutes and faculty members or from handicapped people themselves. ‘ ( Oliver, 2003, pg. 312 ) .

Historically, people with damages have long been oppressed and marginalised. Hostile intervention, commiseration and ignorance are common disenabling experiences. Barnes ( 1997 and 1991 ) claims that perceptual experiences of disablement are rooted in ancient Greek and Roman history, he discusses how the civilizations of the western universe are based on the accomplishments of the ancient Greeks who built their being on bondage. Grecian society was highly violent, male dominated and prone to war. They had a strong value for physical and mental strength and any failings and defects were non tolerated. Such a concern for flawlessness meant that the infanticide of ill and handicapped kids was really common. In Grecian doctrine, the Gods and goddesses were & A ; lsquo ; idealized representations of perfect humanity ‘ ( Dutton cited in Barnes, 1997, pg 13 ) . The lone God who was physically imperfect was Hephaestus, this Grecian God was rejected by his parents because of his grotesque visual aspect and labelled a & A ; lsquo ; cripple ‘ by his married woman Aphrodite who committed criminal conversation with a more aesthetically delighting lover. This mythology is important as it is a clear beginning of the links made between damage and gender today as many of us assume that handicapped people are unable or do non desire to hold a sex life. When the Romans conquered Greece and expanded their imperium, the values of strength, individuality and able-bodiedness were inherited with it. The Romans besides advocated the infanticide of & A ; lsquo ; weak ‘ kids and ridiculed people who acquired damage during their life class. Many Roman games involved utilizing persons with damage as comedy Acts of the Apostless for the amusement of others. Although both the Greeks and Romans attempted to develop interventions for damages, they were reserved chiefly for those with power and wealth ( Garland, 1995 ) .

Another foundation of our ideas and beliefs of disablement can be found in the western faiths of Christianity and Judaism. Religion in ancient societies viewed disablement as anti-religious and a contemplation of wickedness or immoral behavior. Barnes cites many mentions from spiritual texts which imply that damage is a effect of bad behavior. For illustration, in Deuteronomy ( 27-27 ) it states that immorality will be punished by sightlessness. In contrast to Greek and Roman society, the Judaic religion opposed infanticide and encouraged its members to care for the & A ; lsquo ; less fortunate ‘ this is besides a characteristic of subsequent faiths stemming from the Judaism, such as Islam and Christianity. Peoples with damages were accepted by the community, but as objects of privation and charity. This was a cardinal characteristic of Christianity. Consequently, they were viewed merely in footings of their damage and treated as uncomplete human existences in demand of understanding ( Barnes, 1997 ) .

During the Middle Ages disablement was associated with immorality and superstitious notion and people with damages were treated with utmost ill will. Children born with damages were believed to of been sent by the Satan as a consequence of parents engagement in witchery and other black humanistic disciplines. This association with immorality was really strongly held in Britain during this clip and was reflected in art and literature, Shakespeare ‘s Richard III is a good illustration of this, Richard is portrayed as physically and mentally deformed despite holding no physical damage. He is destined to merely be successful as a scoundrel which perpetuates the negative stereotype of damage and immorality. Just as in the ancient universe, handicapped people were ridiculed during the in-between ages in many signifiers. Analysiss of gag books from this clip uncover that damages such as insanity and amentia were used as beginnings of temper. Many persons with seeable damages were displayed as objects of amusement ( Barnes, 1997 ) .

The 18th and nineteenth century saw the passage from agricultural subsistence to factory production during the industrial revolution and urbanization procedure. This brought with it a diminution in spiritual authorization and the growing of scientific discipline and reason. The development of useful doctrine which emphasised the importance of delighting the bulk at the disbursal of minority groups created a new found value for individualism and advancement. These developments provided justification for the beliefs and patterns of the past and can be cited as a starting point for the disablement issues which are seeable today. These include the development and prioritisation of a medical theoretical account of Disability, in which the organic structure and damage are viewed in individualistic footings instead than societal, cultural and political. The institutional bias and favoritism of people with damages in mundane societal life is a 2nd issue of Disability theoreticians. The popularity of eugenic thoughts during the mid 20th century and the slaying of 1000s of handicapped people, every bit good as other laden minority groups during the 2nd universe war is another important point in modern history and many scientists still advocate & amp ; lsquo ; Social Darwinist ‘ ideals and position human imperfectnesss ( both physical and mental ) as a social menace, a menace that needs to be eradicated ( Barnes, 1996 ) .

The rise of the disablement motion in the 1960 ‘s saw the development of the Union of the Physically Impaired Against Segregation ( UPIAS ) , the constitution of such administrations and the activism of handicapped people resulted in a re-classification of disablement as distinguishable from damage and societal in nature as opposed to medical ( Barnes, 1997 ) . Disability became defined as the disadvantages caused by societal establishments and environments which efficaciously exclude people from engagement ( UPIAS, 1976 ) . This was subsequently adapted by other administrations such as the British Council of Disabled People ( BCODP ) and the Disabled People ‘s International ( DPI ) ( Barnes, 1997 ) . Finally, this new apprehension of disablement became known as the & A ; lsquo ; Social Model ‘ of Disability ( Oliver, 1996a ) . Disability theory will be discussed farther in my literature reappraisal ( Chapter 3 ) with an analysis of both the medical and societal theoretical accounts of Disability.

3.0 Literature Review

3.1 Introduction

3.2 Disability and Impairment: Cardinal footings in the argument

& A ; lsquo ; Disability ‘ is hard to gestate because of its multi-dimensional and complex nature. The term can be used in many different contexts and from different positions which means there is small consensus on its definition ( Altman, 2001 ) . Categorizations associated with a medical theoretical account of disablement are based on a differentiation between & A ; lsquo ; damage ‘ & amp ; lsquo ; disablement ‘ and & A ; lsquo ; disability ‘ damage is defined as functional restrictions to make with the organic structure, disablement is when an person can non work usually because if this damage, and disability refers to an inability to take part in societal life ( Oliver, 1990 ) . The chief job with such categorizations is that the single damage is considered to be the most of import factor and reinforces an & A ; lsquo ; single definition in which functional restrictions predominate. Therefore, disablement is viewed in footings of an person ‘s personal inability to map ‘ ( Barton, 1993 pg. 237 ) . This theoretical account has had a powerful influence in determining non merely societal policy, but social attitudes and behaviour.

In world, many handicapped people have rejected this apprehension of disablement. Alternatively & amp ; lsquo ; disablement ‘ refers to failures in the structural environment to run into the demands of all persons. The Disabled People ‘s International ( 1981 ) put frontward the following definition which better fits the positions of handicapped people.

Damage is the functional restriction within the person caused by physical, mental or centripetal damage.

Disability is the loss or restriction of chances to take portion in the normal life of the community on an equal degree with others due to physical and societal barriers.

In relation to my content analysis research, I will be looking to place how disablement is conceptualised and the type of linguistic communication used both in The Sun and Ouch!

3.3 The Language of Disability

& A ; lsquo ; The first and most of import thing to retrieve about treatments of linguistic communication and disablement is that they arise because handicapped people experience discrimination day-to-day and are denied the same rights and chances as the remainder of the population. Apart from the fact that words can be profoundly hurtful to handicapped persons, they have power and are used extensively to warrant subjugation ‘ ( Barnes, 1993, pg 8 ) .

The power of linguistic communication is a important subject of treatment in the country of disablement surveies. While we assume that the primary intent of linguistic communication is to help communicating, Oliver ( 1994, pg. 4 ) argues that it is besides about & A ; lsquo ; political relations, domination and control ‘ and I am inclined to hold. The development of linguistic communication is non based on consensus of intending but instead through the ability of some groups to coerce their significance and apprehension of others. This signifier of & A ; lsquo ; cultural domination ‘ is seeable in many signifiers, the infliction of the spoken word on deaf people and sexist linguistic communication directed at adult females are both suited illustrations ( Oliver, 1989, pg.1 ) . The misconceptions that society has of disablement are caused as good reinforced by the usage of disablist linguistic communication. Many of the opprobrious footings directed at handicapped people are good circulated and familiar to most of the population. & A ; lsquo ; moron ‘ & As ; lsquo ; cripple ‘ & amp ; lsquo ; spastic ‘ & As ; lsquo ; imbecile ‘ & amp ; lsquo ; mong ‘ & As ; lsquo ; midget ‘ & amp ; lsquo ; dwarf ‘ & amp ; lsquo ; moonstruck ‘ the list is eternal ( Clark and Marsh, 2002 ) . This sort of nomenclature has the power to advance bias and favoritism against handicapped people. As mentioned in the old subdivision ( 3.2 ) the DPI re-defined damage and disablement in line with the world that disablement is rooted in societal unfairness. This means that the linguistic communication used by both the media and wider society ought to reflect a societal theoretical account of disablement in which society discriminates against those who do non conform to the ideals of an able-bodied society. Disablist linguistic communication such as & A ; lsquo ; the handicapped ‘ or & A ; lsquo ; people with disablements ‘ are unacceptable yet normally used by the imperativeness and the population by and large. Persons do non hold disablements, they have damages. Phrases such as & A ; lsquo ; the handicapped ‘ objectify the person and enforce a peculiar label on their individuality which is based entirely on their damage. & A ; lsquo ; Disabled people ‘ as opposed to & A ; lsquo ; people with disablements ‘ is more appropriate as it implies that the disablement belongs to society, whereas the latter makes it the belongings of the individual ( Barnes, 1991 and 1992 ) . Within the British imperativeness, the aforesaid footings, peculiarly & A ; lsquo ; cripple ‘ and & A ; lsquo ; disability ‘ are used on a regular basis. This is normally within a sentimental and patronizing context. For illustration narratives in which handicapped persons display & amp ; lsquo ; courage ‘ despite of their disablement or & A ; lsquo ; disability ‘ or cases where persons have made personal scarifies to assist a handicapped person or group. These by and large involve the usage of affectional linguistic communication, such as & A ; lsquo ; wheelchair bound ‘ & amp ; lsquo ; afflicted ‘ & amp ; lsquo ; sick person ‘ & amp ; lsquo ; victim ‘ and so on ( Barnes, 1991 ) .

To summarize, much of the linguistic communication that is used in treatments of disablement are based on an individualistic/medical apprehension of the nature of disablement. They are non developed from the experiences of handicapped people, but instead from the perceptual experiences of others. While carry oning my survey I will be interested to see which sorts of nomenclature and linguistic communication are used in the newspaper articles from my sample.

3.4 Disability Theory: the Medical theoretical account and the Social theoretical account

The medical theoretical account of disablement has formed the footing of commonsense premises and beliefs about the nature of disablement. This perspective focal points on the person and his or her damage. It & amp ; lsquo ; imposes a given of biological or physiological lower status upon handicapped individuals ‘ ( Hahn, 1985 ) . Medical positions attribute physical and rational damages as representing disablement, while denying its societal and political nature. Oliver ( 1983 and 1996a ) prefers the term & A ; lsquo ; single theoretical account ‘ and argues that medicalisation is one component of this, along with psychological facets. Medical histories sum to a personal calamity theory of disablement ( Oliver, 1990 and Finkelstein, 1980 ) in which disablement merely & A ; lsquo ; happens ‘ to persons and is personal to them, it implies that any troubles are a direct consequence of damages ( Finkelstein, 1993 ) this forms the footing of mundane beliefs. In footings of rehabilitation, accent has been placed on functional restrictions of an person and & A ; lsquo ; efforts to happen ways of preventing, bring arounding or ( neglecting these ) lovingness for handicapped people ‘ ( Marks cited in Williams, 2001 pg 125 ) .

As mentioned throughout this thesis, this manner of understanding disablement has been to a great extent criticised by handicapped people and disablement has been re-conceptualised as a societal and political job through the work of handicapped groups in the 1960 ‘s ( Barnes, 1997 ) . Disability theory has approximately been divided into American and British parts. I will briefly sketch the work of American sociologists, nevertheless I am more concerned with the work of British writers as it better relates to my thesis and it ‘s theoretical point of view. American authors during the 1960 ‘s challenged the thought that single medical conditions or damages were the cause of disablement. Goffman ( 1963 ) discuses the function of & A ; lsquo ; stigma ‘ in & A ; lsquo ; botching ‘ ( pg. 15 ) a individual ‘s societal individuality, one of the signifiers of stigma he identifies derives from physical abnormalcies. He besides identifies that disablement is socially constructed and concludes that the attitudes of professional contributes to experiences of disablement. Stone ( cited in Barnes, 1997 ) argues that the societal building of disablement is based on the power of the sate in curtailing public assistance to those who require it. The importance of work and production in industrialized society has meant that those who are unable to take part are in demand of aid from the province, who along with medical professionals, are able to specify disablement as an person job and find the degree of entree to public assistance and other province services. Other authors, notably Albrecht ( cited in Barnes, 1997 ) point out that disablement has been & amp ; lsquo ; controlled and transformed into commercial endeavor ‘ ( pg. 6 ) he claims that societies produce different signifiers of unwellness, damage and disablement. The ways in which these are interpreted is dependent on economic factors he argues. American functionalist/interactionist histories of disablement are derivative of Parsonian thoughts and concentrate on the function of being & A ; lsquo ; sick ‘ which is expected of handicapped people and considered to be a signifier of aberrance ( Oliver, 1996b ) . The broad values that exist in an industrial ( and post- industrial ) society topographic point importance on personal duty and a strong work ethic, deviancy is created when an person is unable to conform to these ideals. Writers have besides argued that people with damages are dependent on medical professionals who & amp ; lsquo ; aid in the psychological adjustment of a & A ; lsquo ; disabled ‘ individuality ‘ ( pg. 21 ) and supply rehabilitation. The chief unfavorable judgments made of the American tradition are that they over look the significance of societal and economic factors cardinal to experiences of disablement. They besides fail to take into history the positions of handicapped people themselves, both these points form the chief focal point of British authors which I will turn to following.

British theoreticians have been much more critical in their appraisals of disablement and have explicitly expressed their statements about the subjugation, bias and favoritism that many handicapped people encounter on a everyday footing. A figure of authors have approached disablement in society through a materialist or Marxist analysis, concentrating on economic and political factors. Others have highlighted the importance of the subjective experiences of disablement and the function of civilization. Mentions have been made to the importance of gender, ethnicity, category, gender and other societal factors which shape single apprehensions of disablement ( Barnes, 1997 ) . Theorists who use a materialist model claim that subjugation is caused by economic constructions. The lives of handicapped people have small value in a capitalist society as they are deemed unable to lend to economic and societal life ( Riddell, 1996 ) . Finkelstein ( 1980 ) identifies three stages in history with respect to social reaction to damage. In the first, & A ; lsquo ; pre-industrial ‘ stage people with damages were non excluded from economic life and the impression of disablement did non be. This was because work was subsistence based and aimed at supplying basic nutrient and comfortss for endurance. Communities needed all the labor they could acquire from its members ( Barnes and Mercer, 2003 ) . The 2nd stage was that of industrial capitalist economy during the nineteenth century, both Oliver ( 1990 ) and Finkelstein ( 1980 ) argue that during this clip Disability developed along side capitalist production and free market endeavor. The rise of mill production and the intense degrees of velocity and control involved meant that disabled workers were non welcome in the work topographic point. Procedures of urbanization created disconnected communities and weakened household webs. The growing of towns and metropoliss to house the work force were geographically and structurally inadequate for handicapped people and contributed to their segregation from wider society and the debut of residential establishments ( Barnes and Mercer, 2003 ) . For Finkelstein, it was at this point that people with damages became a clearly oppressed group, he argues that in stage the usage of engineering and the activism of handicapped people will stop subjugation and disablement will discontinue to be viewed in individualistic or medical footings ( Barnes, 1997 ) . Possibly the growing of the cyberspace and web sites like BBC Ouch! grade the beginning of this stage. Oliver ( 1990 ) besides discusses capitalist economy and disablement, he applies Marxist thoughts about the power of political orientation to reason that the values which form the footing of societal pattern and civilization conceptualised disablement as a & A ; lsquo ; personal calamity ‘ and aided the development of the single theoretical account.

Critics of Finkelstein and Oliver ‘s materialist analyses of disablement argue that they over look the single experiences of disablement, instead than handle handicapped people as a homogeneous group. The societal theoretical account demands to be reconceptualised with this in head and from a postmodernist position which recognises diverseness ( Shakespeare, 1994, Morris, 1991, Crow, 1992 ) . These authors discuss the prejudiced attitudes towards disabled people through civilization, as material accounts fall short in explicating why favoritism exists and how disablist civilization produces it. *incomplete*

3.5 Media representation of Disability and effects on the audience

The stereotyped portraiture of handicapped people within popular civilization is one of the most important factors lending to the favoritism of handicapped people. Hunt ( 1966 ) argues that handicapped people represent an & A ; lsquo ; other ‘ in society and present a menace to the able-bodied values entrenched in its construction. He describes this menace as being divided into five signifiers, as & A ; lsquo ; unfortunate, useless, different, laden and ill ‘ ( pg. 146 ) . Disabled people are considered & amp ; lsquo ; unfortunate ‘ because of the belief that they are unable to take a full life. They are & amp ; lsquo ; useless ‘ because they can non lend economically, & A ; lsquo ; different ‘ because they do non conform to & A ; lsquo ; normal ‘ outlooks of a human being and & A ; lsquo ; marked out as members of a minority group ‘ ( pg. 150 ) . Finally, they are & amp ; lsquo ; oppressed and ill ‘ because they do non suit in, & A ; lsquo ; for the able-bodied, normal universe we are representations of many of the things they most fear- calamity, loss, dark and the unknown… contact with us throws up in people ‘s faces the fact of illness and decease in the universe ‘ ( pg. 155-156 ) . Hunt ‘s statements about the manner disablement is understood in western civilization are applicable today in analyzing the misconceptions which are reproduced by the media. As discussed in Chapter Two, such misconceptions stem from the beliefs and patterns of the yesteryear and have become steadfastly deep-rooted within society. Disablist attitudes become normalised through a procedure of societal acquisition ( Barnes, 1991 ) nevertheless, the extent and nature of this procedure is unfastened to debate and many argue that there is no existent manner of cognizing how he media influences perceptual experience. There have been many surveies which have investigated the cultural portraitures of disablement, some illustrations follow.

3.5.1 & A ; lsquo ; Disabling imagination and the media ‘ by Colin Barnes.

The focal point of this survey is the portraiture of handicapped people in the media and its stereotyped nature. Using secondary informations from the content analysis surveies of assorted organisations, Barnes ( 1992 ) identifies several stereotypes of handicapped people produced within the media. These are: the handicapped individual as & A ; lsquo ; pathetic and hapless ‘ as & A ; lsquo ; an object of force ‘ as & A ; lsquo ; sinister and immorality ‘ as & A ; lsquo ; atmosphere or oddity ‘ as & A ; lsquo ; ace cripple ‘ as & A ; lsquo ; an object of ridicule ‘ as & A ; lsquo ; their ain worst enemy ‘ as & A ; lsquo ; a load ‘ as & A ; lsquo ; sexually unnatural ‘ , as & A ; lsquo ; incapable of take parting in community life ‘ and as & A ; lsquo ; normal ‘ ( Barnes, 1992, pg 3 ) . Rather than concentrate on peculiar facets of the media, Barnes chose to analyze all facets of the media, including the imperativeness, wireless, telecasting, books and so on. He argues that media word pictures of disablement contribute to experiences of favoritism in a important manner. He goes on to repeat that the poorness experienced by handicapped people can non be explained by the traditional theoretical account which suggests single physical or rational restrictions to be the root cause. It is caused by & A ; lsquo ; reactive environments and disenabling barriers. Thus & A ; lsquo ; disablement ‘ refers to a complex system of societal restraints imposed on handicapped people by a extremely prejudiced society ‘ ( Barnes, 1992, pg. 5 ) . As mentioned in Chapter T7wo, stereotyped premises about disablement root from the beliefs and patterns of earlier times, they are embedded in the very construction of society and are expressed in all institutions- instruction, leisure, employment and so on. These attitudes are sustained because they are reproduced by the mass media. Although the writer does non theorize on the exact degree of influence the media have on public perceptual experience, he does indicate out that there is small opportunity that it has none. He cites official statistics which highlight the extent of media exposure to the populace. For illustration, 98 % of us own a telecasting and 65 % of us read day-to-day newspapers ( Barnes, 1992 ) . It is safe to presume hence, that the ways in which a societal group is presented on telecasting, is critical to the formation of public perceptual experience. Broadcasters have a duty to guarantee that these are accurate and this survey finally concludes that this duty is non being met.

The study is divided into three subdivisions. The first trades with how the media creates negative stereotypes with each of the aforesaid subjects being described and analysed for their impact on the lives of individuals with disablements. Barnes describes with great item the nature of each stereotype and provides a great figure of illustrations from the media as illustration. He highlights peculiar stereotypes which are more relentless than others such as the handicapped individual as & A ; lsquo ; sinister and immorality. ‘ In the Bible there are at least 40 mentions to & A ; lsquo ; the cripple ‘ being connected with wickedness and immorality. In Melville ‘s & A ; lsquo ; Moby Dick ‘ the writer uses the damage of the captain to make a sinister ambiance for the reader. Film examples incorporating this stereotype include ‘Dr Jekyll and Mr. Hyde ‘ & As ; lsquo ; Dr. Strangelove ‘ and & A ; lsquo ; Dirty Harry ‘ . Barnes besides points out that many over the stereotypes can overlap with one another, for illustration & A ; lsquo ; evil ‘ is normally linked with & A ; lsquo ; sexual degeneration ‘ and & A ; lsquo ; load ‘ can sometimes be linked with the handicapped individual as & A ; lsquo ; incapable of take parting in community life ‘ . The 2nd subdivision of the study trades with the rules behind the disablist imagination in the media, such as disablement linguistic communication and misconceptions around disablement. It besides includes recommendations for righting the balance and suggests alterations be made in the enlisting of handicapped people in the media, more accessible media formats e.g. mark linguistic communication and preparation of media employees by handicapped people to raise consciousness of disablement equality. The concluding subdivision inside informations the ailments processs for describing any disablist content in the media and provides a usher on how to utilize them.

A major strength of this study is that it demonstrates that the bulk of representations of disablement produced by the media are inherently negative. & A ; lsquo ; Disabling stereotypes which medicalise, patronize, criminalise and dehumanise handicapped people abound in books, movie, telecasting and the imperativeness ‘ ( Barnes, 1992, pg. 19 ) . Barnes besides highlights that such representations are cardinal to the attitudes of society and hence to the exclusion that many experience as a consequence. Barnes ‘ statements are expressed, powerful and really hard to differ with. The usage of movie and telecasting mentions force the reader to see them in a different visible radiation and non take for granted the word pictures they are accustomed to, but measure them more critically. However, there are besides a figure of negative points to be made about the study. First, as the research involves secondary analysis of old research, there is the job of cognizing what the original intents of the research were and whether they are compatible with the purposes of the study. There may besides be jobs with the methodological analysiss of the assorted research undertakings which can impact the cogency of and dependability of the current survey ( Arber, 2001 ) . Despite the huge sum of coverage contained in the study, the imperativeness, telecasting, movie etc, it does non include any on-line cyberspace beginnings as portion of the research. The cyberspace has fast become an of import channel for media information and should be considered in surveies of media representation. In relation to my thesis, an inclusion of the cyberspace in the study would hold been utile.

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