Disability, gender and power in Japanese television drama

Stibbe, Arran (2004) Disability, gender and power in Japanese television drama. Japan Forum, 16 (1). pp. 21-36. ISSN 0955-5803

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Abstract

Traditionally, people with disabilities have been kept segregated and invisible in Japanese society and media. The 1990s, however, saw the start of a surprising boom in the portrayal of disability on Japanese television. Within the last ten years, there have been popular, prime-time dramas featuring portrayals of paraplegia, deafness, autism, visual impairment and learning disabilities. At first sight, the sudden increase in programmes about disability seems to follow a number of political changes which occurred in Japan during the 1990s, as increased disabled activism created pressure to move away from the widely condemned medical model of disability towards new constructions. But closer analysis suggests that, while the television dramas manage to avoid some of the negative images that have appeared on television in the West, their overall effect is that of reinforcing many of the aspects of the traditional medical model. This is particularly true for dramas that feature disabled female characters, suggesting a relationship between representations of disability based on the medical model and traditional representations of gender.

Item Type: Article
Article Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Japan, disability, social construction, media, gender, television
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GF Human ecology. Anthropogeography
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN2000 Dramatic representation. The Theater
Divisions: Schools and Research Institutes > School of Liberal and Performance Arts > Literary and Critical Studies
Research Priority Areas: Being Human - Past, Present & Future
Depositing User: Anne Pengelly
Date Deposited: 19 May 2014 17:16
Last Modified: 25 Jan 2016 14:59
URI: http://eprints.glos.ac.uk/id/eprint/676

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