This textbook brings together a wide range of expert voices from the field of disability studies and the disabled people's movement to tackle the essential topics relevant to this area of study. From the outset disability is discussed from a social model perspective, demonstrating how future practice and discourse could break down barriers and lead to more equal relationships for disabled people in everyday life.
An interdisciplinary and broad-ranging text, the book includes 50 chapters on topics relevant across health and social care. Reflective questions and suggestions for further reading throughout will help readers gain a critical appreciation of the subject and expand their knowledge.
This will be valuable reading for students and professionals across disability studies, health, nursing, social work, social care, social policy and sociology.
Chapter 30: Media Representations
In the sense that the term is used in Disability Studies, discourse refers to a kind of intertextual ‘conversation’ that texts have with each other (Bowman 2008). By texts are meant any forms of representation of a subject. In a discussion of media representations we might describe as texts, for example, television or radio programmes, photographs, films, YouTube clips, newspaper stories or magazine articles. Media discourse is a conversation carried out between different media texts, a conversation in which conventional meanings are shared.
In framing our ways of knowing about and relating to a subject, and in suggesting ways we might act upon or experience it, discourse simultaneously opens up certain possibilities and shuts down others (Abberley 2002). As Titchkosky (2007) puts it, ...