Faculty Scholarly Dissemination Grants

Title

Is this a trend for raising awareness and changing perceptions? A close look at the spotlighted children with Down syndrome in fashion ads today.

Department

School of Communications

College

College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Disciplines

Business

Abstract

Disabled people over the years have been marginalized and misrepresented within and through the media. The disability itself is often portrayed as a phenomenal factor to attract more audience into the story, the play or the movie. When disabled people are depicted, their disabilities are usually the focus of attention (Signorielli, 1993), and not valued as people. Such one-dimensional stereotypes are often distanced from the audience. According to the previous research, psychiatric disorders are proportionately overrepresented in the media, whereas few children with physical or intellectual disabilities such as children with Down syndrome have been depicted. Recently some children with Down syndrome have been spotlighted in certain fashion ads. Some believes this is a great move to counter false stereotypes and understand people with disabilities with fresh eyes. The purpose of this paper is to explore from parental perspectives to see how they view the lately trend in fashion ads with children with Down syndrome and what impacts these ads will have on children and bring to their family.

Conference Name

Popular Culture Association Annual Conference

Conference Location

Washington, DC

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