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Playlist: Annals of Communication and Disabilities

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journal contribution
posted on 2023-01-24, 21:52 authored by Yukari SekoYukari Seko

[Introduction]: "Throughout the 47-year history of the Canadian Journal of Communication (CJC), the topic of disability has been a faint note played in the background. Only occasionally, it comes to the fore to sing in the chorus with other socially constructed categories, such as gender, sexuality, race/ethnicity, social class, and health. Although there is a growing call for “cripping” communication to address the longstanding ableism in the field, (e.g., St. Pierre, 2015), scholarly interest in disability tends to fall far behind other topics in the fast-expanding field of critical communication studies. This playlist features hidden gems in CJC’s vast archives. The five articles featured here address in one way or another how communication shapes the way we see, feel, and live disabled bodies. These pieces date from 1980 to 2011, each bearing witness to the changing relationship between disability and communication. There is a shared recognition among the authors about the role of communication in perpetuating the “hegemony of normalcy” (Davis, 1995, p. 24) that normalizes certain forms of human variation while excluding others. Some authors problematize the stigmatizing stereotypes and derogatory images the media attaches to the disabled, while others address how communication mediums can be used to both enable and disable people with disabilities. Others shed light on agentic voices of the disabled that are striving to reconstruct coherent identities beyond medical labelling."