Monday, 3 November 2014

Representation of Disability

Disabled people are often represented as incapable or incompetent, they are also considered to be unintelligent and are usually made to be figures of humour. In 1991 Paul Hunt identified 10 ways in which the media portrays disabled people, they are:

  • The disabled person as pitiable or pathetic
  • An object of curiosity or violence
  • Sinister or evil
  • The super cripple
  • As atmosphere
  • Laughable
  • His/her own worst enemy
  • As a burden
  • As Non-sexual
  • Being unable to participate in daily life
Whilst these stereotypes are often not true in real life, they are fairly accurate for media representation.

In this clip the disabled character is represented as bitter, or angry at there disablement, and also patronised by their brother, which is helping to support the negative stereotypes of disabled people in the media. The representation is also accurate of the descriptions Paul Hunt identified as in this clip, the disabled character is represented as their own worst enemy, as no one really does anything to wind him up, but he appears resentful of his condition and stops himself from doing 'normal' things.

In the clip, he is represented as such mainly by his actions as a character, however the majority of the camera angles are looking down onto the disabled character, which whilst only a small thing does help to build the image of a marginalised character. Later on, the disabled character has to be helped to the toilet by his brother, which further supports the idea of disabled people being reliant on others.

On the whole, disabled characters are represented as just that, unable to do things that able bodied characters can.

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