Inspiring or Perpetuating Stereotypes?: The Complicated Case of Disability as Inspiration

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Creator: 

Cameron, Leah Nicole

Date: 

2018

Abstract: 

This research looks at how inspirational narratives that feature disability, also known as "inspiration porn", are interpreted by disabled and non-disabled audiences. The project uses We're The Superhumans, a British infomercial for the 2016 Summer Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, as its case study. This research is informed by social science research on disability, critical media studies literature, as well as government documents and official reports. Qualitative data were gathered through focus groups with disabled and non-disabled participants, as well as through comments posted on the infomercial's YouTube video and on Twitter, and through media coverage. The results of the study show that reactions to inspirational narratives are not uniform among disabled and non-disabled audiences and that negative perceptions of disability persist. This study provides valuable insight regarding the nuances and complexities surrounding inspiration porn and social attitudes towards disability.

Subject: 

Communication

Language: 

English

Publisher: 

Carleton University

Thesis Degree Name: 

Master of Arts: 
M.A.

Thesis Degree Level: 

Master's

Thesis Degree Discipline: 

Communication

Parent Collection: 

Theses and Dissertations

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