Towards a critical stylistics of disability
Issue: Vol 1 No. 1 (2017)
This article sets out the initial terrain for a critical stylistics of disability exposing the linguistic structures that encode often harmful ideologies surrounding disabled people. Disabled people are represented in literature and the media in general as 'other', and as curiosities to be described and explained. They are represented stereotypically as pitiable, evil, burdensome, as 'Super Cripples' or super humans, or as self-pitying. Such depictions can be internalised by and harmful to disabled people.
Analysis will need to acknowledge that disabled people are frequently foregrounded as socially deviant in representations. Areas for analysis will include the author status as disabled or non-disabled, narrative mode, and the use of disability as metaphor. However, major areas for study will be description in noun phrases, transitivity analysis and the language of appraisal and evaluation. These can be scrutinised to expose the manner in which ideologies and stereotypes of disability are encoded.
Author: Rod Hermeston
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