Ouch!: An Examination of the Self-Representation of Disabled People on the Internet

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Abstract

This article is based on a qualitative study of representations of disability by disabled people on Ouch, a BBC-owned web magazine produced largely by disabled people. Analysis was conducted of a sample of articles from the website in order to examine how the medium of the Internet influenced the content of the website, how disabled people were represented in the articles on the website, and how ideology and power were expressed through the discourse on Ouch. The findings reveal a different type of representation from that offered by the mainstream traditional media, which is argued to result from properties of the medium and the staffing of the site by disabled people. The findings add weight to current critiques of disability theory, in particular that the current social model of disability does not adequately explain the reality of living with impairment and disability.

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