Disability, identity and media : paralympians in advertising

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Leavitt, Stacey
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Lethbridge, Alta. : University of Lethbridge, Dept. of Kinesiology, c2012
This thesis explores representations of Paralympians within media and advertising. Scholarly research on disability is extremely limited, with current research focusing on print media, and few studies going as far as to perform a discourse analysis. Media representations play a prevalent role in constructing “disability” and have the power to define what it means to be a disabled person. Using a poststructural theoretical framework, I undertake a critical discourse analysis of television advertisements produced by Nike and Visa to uncover what narratives regarding disability are circulating with regularity. I find these advertisements featuring Paralympians serve to reproduce the myth of the “supercrip”, failing to acknowledge the complexity of individual experiences of those living with disabilities. Further, the simultaneous celebration and marginalization of Paralympians, a key dialectic found within these advertisements is indicative of a larger polemics circulating with regularity regarding people with disabilities within our increasingly neoliberal society.
v, 117 leaves ; 29 cm
Paralympic Games , Athletes with disabilities -- Social conditions , Sports for people with disabilities -- Social aspects , Athletes in mass media , Mass media and sports -- Social aspects , Dissertations, Academic