Representation of Disabled People in Advertisements in Turkey

Aysun Dogutas 1 *

AM J QUALITATIVE RES, Volume 5, Issue 2, pp. 57-72

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The purpose of this study was to discover how disabled people are represented in advertisements in Turkey. Ten purposefully chosen TV channels (ATV, FOX, TV8, SHOW TV, KANAL D, STAR TV, TRT 1, KANAL 7, TRT HABER, TRT ÇOCUK) were used in a pilot study to identify ads featuring people with disabilities. Because the results of the pilot study showed no such advertisements, data for the current study were collected from internet. Three types of advertisements featuring people with disabilities emerged: public service announcements, consumption-centered ads, and supportive ads. Critical discourse analysis was applied to the data derived from the latter two types. Results indicate that the media, which play an important role not only in reflecting public attitudes and values regarding disability but also in shaping them, may assist in reducing stigma and misinformation and in increasing social acceptance and inclusion only if the portrayals are positive and comprehensive. Any positive change in attitude along with better programs and laws can accelerate the integration of people with disabilities into society.

Keywords: Advertisement, Disabled, Disability, Television, The Internet.