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The representation of the physically challenged and their stereotypes as portrayed in film

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Introduction

Shane Willoughby Title The representation of the physically challenged and their stereotypes as portrayed in film Hypothesis or Aim The sociological issue, to be researched is, the representation of the physically challenged in the mass media, concentrating on popular films. I've decided to use four main stereotypes, which are most common in the media. After reading into "Media and Mental illness" by The Glasgow Media Group, I became intrigued and started to reflect on the images portrayed. As I have a physical disability, I thought that I would have a better understanding of my research, and a good empathy for people who are being portrayed badly. After researching on the Internet, based on the research I developed my hypothesis: There will be no physically challenged people portrayed in "normal" roles, instead they will fit into one of the four stereotypes. (121 words) Contexts and concepts The Broadcasting complaints Commission study showed that in television programmes 7% of persons were disabled. They showed that disabled people were mostly in broadcast films, drama and soap operas. Langmore (1987) Studied on the different forms of representations of disabled persons, and how the audience reacts to seeing a disabled person on the television as a pose to an able bodied person. ...read more.

Middle

Your social identity will then be seen as a label to show what kind of person you are. Resulting from the label you have now been given, you might start to think you are that type of person. (422 words) Main Research Method and reasons I'm decided to use content analysis. Content analysis is the analysis of communication, in this case the portrayal of the physically challenged in films. Since the media comes ready made it's easy to gain access to the broadcast relevant to the study, this makes it cheap to build up your sample. This method is good because it is a more objective method, although it could be open to some prejudice or bias. Why I chose to use the method of content analysis as a pose to a survey is because if you conduct a survey there would be complications with what the participent thinks the stereotypes are. They also might not recall any films representing physically challenged people, so hopefully I have chosen the right method for my study. It is essential that the categories are precisely defined to minimize bias resulting from the judgments of different researchers. ...read more.

Conclusion

The researchers might not hand in the research sheets, resulting in a lack of data. This would initially affect the study, as the data would not be able to be sufficiently analysed, and the results will not be as valid. Starting from the beginning the research sheets will have to be user friendly and brief but at the same time affective. If at the end of the study they have not met any of these criteria, the study will be in jeopardy. That is why I will try to get it right; by making sure, the researchers understand the stereotypes and what they have to do. I attempt this by briefing the researchers before handing out the research sheets; the brief is also written on the research sheets to ensure they do not forget what they have to do. Although sometimes criticised for involving subjective judgments, which create data that, are not valid, content analysis seems to be the best way of conducting my research, as the study is on the represetation of the physically challenged in films. Another problem could be that of the coding scheme, as they are open to personal interpretation and the researchers judgments and values could get in the way of the study. (276 words) ...read more.

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