‘Risky’ representation: The portrayal of women with mobility impairment in twenty- first-century advertising

Houston, Ella (2019) ‘Risky’ representation: The portrayal of women with mobility impairment in twenty- first-century advertising. Disability and Society.

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Representations of disability and gender in advertising have been traditionally confined by narrow ideals surrounding body image. Recently, portrayals of disabled women in advertising have substantially grown in volume and variety. This research applies a feminist disability studies critique to the exploration of women with mobility impairments as ‘risky’ in twenty- first-century advertising. Feminist disability studies recognises culture as a key site in which disabled women have been historically misrepresented. While existing research dominantly focuses on textual analyses of advertisements, this study presents empirical data collected via semi-structured interviews with disabled women. Some women believe that the link between disabled women and riskiness sustains stereotypical attitudes and suggest that women with mobility impairments are included in advertisements as a form of ‘safe quirkiness’. However, others welcome provocative portrayals of women with mobility impairment and suggest that such representations challenge presumptions of disabled women as passive.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Feminist disability studies; advertising; media; culture; risk; disability; gender
Faculty / Department: Faculty of Education > Disability and Education
Depositing User: Ella Houston
Date Deposited: 08 Feb 2019 11:17
Last Modified: 19 Feb 2020 15:01
URI: https://hira.hope.ac.uk/id/eprint/2757

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