Embodying Metaphors

Disability Tropes in Political Cartoons

Authored by: Beth Haller

The Routledge Companion to Disability and Media

Print publication date:  November  2019
Online publication date:  October  2019

Print ISBN: 9781138884588
eBook ISBN: 9781315716008
Adobe ISBN:


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Metaphors about disability have been embedded in language and images for centuries. This chapter investigates selected US political cartoons from the nineteenth century to 2015 as a way to investigate the intersection of disability metaphors within news media political cartoon practices. Through a critical examination of the cartoon images using Berger’s media analysis technique, this chapter illustrates how the use of disability metaphors in political cartoons contributes to the cultural framing of disability. Also discussed is how disabled cartoonists, writers, performers and media makers create counter-narratives about these disability metaphors as a way to combat ableism and feed a growing and vibrant disability culture.

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