Common media stereotypes

“Studies of the representation of disabled people have shown that disabled people are habitually screened out of television fiction and documentary programmes or else occur in a limited number of roles. It is as if having a physical or mental impairment is the defining feature of a person to such an extent that it makes a character less than a whole character: it subtracts from personhood and undercuts one’s status as a bearer of culture.” (Evans 1999, p 275)

As Barnes (1992) has pointed out, most people form their ideas about disability from the mass media – in particular TV and film – which tend to reproduce “superstitions, myths and beliefs from earlier less enlightened times.” He lists a number of stereotypes that are maintained and disseminated through mass media channels. Continue reading “Common media stereotypes”