Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository

Degree

Master of Arts

Program

Kinesiology

Supervisor

Dr. Karen Danylchuk

Abstract

In our highly mediated society, media culture plays a critical role in socialization and offers a conduit for the naturalization of ideas. By this reasoning, stories told by the media about Paralympic athletes have the potential to influence our understanding of disability. This study reveals the representation of Paralympic athletes in Canada’s two national newspapers The National Post and The Globe & Mail surrounding the London 2012 Paralympic Games. Eighty-eight articles were collected over a 40-day period from August 15, 2012 – September 23, 2012. A critical disability studies lens guided methods of media frames analysis. Results demonstrated that coverage favoured an athletic frame, but medicalization and ‘supercrip’ stories remained highly pervasive. The presence of these underlying messages indicates that disability is still viewed as a problem to be solved or a situation to be overcome. These ideas are discussed as forms of “Othering,” problematizing representations that the media continues to present.


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