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    • #9532
      Juan Salazar
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      Popular culture has always played an active role in all civil rights movements. For persons with disabilities, however, stereotypical portrayals in many popular culture expressions have been the norm. In this discussion we are looking to analyze ways to avoid these traps and continue leveraging the great power of popular culture to transform societies.

    • #9542
      Faith
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      Representation is key for young people with disabilities to grow up with content that represents their identity.pop culture is a tool for education and taking away stereotypes. It’s an avenue for self expression.

    • #9545
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      I believe this is a topic that researchers often neglect. They focus on socioeconomic indicators like employment, education, poverty, etc — all incredibly important, obviously — but so is dignity and self-worth and a feeling of hope and possibility. They are harder to quantify but clearly important in their own right and as a factor in socioeconomic outcomes.

    • #9553
      Abner Manlapaz
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      There is still a lot of work needs to be done to make sure that popular culture is contributing to removal of stereotypes and stigma against people like people with disabilities. I continue to see how persons with disabilities are portrayed as either helpless or a karma for bad things they have done. There are also storyline which depicts that persons with disabilities must live an exceptional life because people with disabilities are hardworking, goodhearted, full of grit and determination and so on… but there is also another side of it, that people who looks scary are villains. Either way, it harms people with disabilities because people with disabilities are not seen for who they are but what the culture tells them who they are.

    • #9554
      Alberto Vasquez
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      Popular culture plays a crucial role in both reinforcing and dismantling ableism. Article 8 of the CRPD provides a path to demand positive action from States to embrace diversity and challenge stigma and stereotypes around disability. The timing is good; in today’s (Western) world, representation matters more than ever — And there is greater awareness of intersecting intersections which helps to bring attention to our shared humanity. It’s an opportunity for the disability rights movement to engage with other movements and build cross-movement agendas.

    • #9566
      Juan Salazar
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      @Faith

      Faith, I agree representation is key. Many mainstream shows recently have done a good job on this like the epic performance of Peter Dinklage, as Tyrion Lannister in Game of Thrones.

      However, there has also been some pushback because of actors without disabilities playing disabled characters. What’s your thoughts on that debate?

      @Daniel Mont

      Dan, I believe it is indeed overlooked by researchers. As opposed to issues like inclusive education, or other support systems, where you can get hard data, measuring cultural perceptions is a big challenge. However, as you point out, it is important. Maybe even the most important if we can build a case around culture, being the sickness and the other barriers in support systems, being symptoms of that sickness. I know very few attempts to measure this. the most famous one being Harvards implicit bias test. Although it’s been debunked and many people don’t like it, it’s at least a starting point on how to go about understanding the challenge. Do you know of any other experiments worth checking out?

      @Abner Manlapaz

      Abner, I think you are spot on in your description of the different stereotypes of disabilities portrayed in the media. Representation for the sake of representation, without a proper understanding of the social model of disabilities, can be more harmful to the movement than no representation at all. Judy Heumann published a report with the Ford Foundation a few years ago on this and I believe it’s the exact same examples.

      @Alberto Vasquez

      Alberto, I think you make a great point in that there is a need for the disability rights movement to build bridges with other movements in order to work together. I am sure there are many international forums that are already doing this, but maybe only from a lawyer type activism perspective. Are you aware of any work with this intersectional approach but from a more popular culture perspective?

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