Featuring Disabled Women in Advertisements: The Commodification of Diversity?

Houston, Ella (2018) Featuring Disabled Women in Advertisements: The Commodification of Diversity? In: The Routledge Companion to Disability and Media. Routledge, New York. ISBN 9781315716008

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Advertisements increasingly portray disability imagery. The medium of advertising is indispensable throughout British and American media due to profitability (Burton, 2005) and the potential to access ‘new’ and multiple markets in an increasing consumerist culture (Schudson, 1993). The rise and perceive nature of media, in particular digital media, means that the world we occupy is increasingly saturated by advertising (Goldman, 1992). Textual analyses of advertisements reveals much about cultural values, assumptions and ideologies. This book chapter explores how critical analysis of discourses surrounding disability and gender in advertising can reveal dependencies on bodily ‘norms’ and ableist aesthetics (Bolt, 2014). The result of this will hopefully contribute to understanding of the role that advertising plays in the socio-cultural inclusion of disabled people (Haller and Ralph, 2006). By examining the representation of disabled women, assumptions surrounding bodily ‘norms’ that stigmatise and problematically represent the female and disabled body will be further addressed.
This chapter will analyse the representations of disabled women in Anglo-American advertisements from a feminist-disability studies lens. Four mixed-media (print, online and digital) advertisements will be subject to textual analysis. Specifically, the methods of critical and multi-modal discourse analysis will be applied to each advertisement in order to extract key themes, covert and overt messages surrounding disability and gender.

Item Type: Book Section
Keywords: Feminist disability studies; media; advertising; textual analysis; critical discourse analysis; multi-modal discourse analysis; disability; gender
Faculty / Department: Faculty of Education > Disability and Education
Depositing User: Ella Houston
Date Deposited: 08 Feb 2019 11:20
Last Modified: 25 Nov 2019 14:32
URI: https://hira.hope.ac.uk/id/eprint/2758

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