Digital Disability: The Social Construction of Disability in New Media / Edition 1

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Media representation of and for the disabled has been recharged in recent years with the expansion of new media worldwide. Interactive digital communications—such as the Internet, new varieties of voice and text telephones, and digital broadcasting—have created a need for a more innovative understanding of new media and disability issues. This engaging analysis offers a global perspective on how people with disabilities are represented as users, consumers, viewers, or listeners of new media, by policymakers, corporations, programmers, and the disabled themselves.

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Editorial Reviews

An important contribution to disability studies literature and lays the groundwork for more work on technology and disability issues. Graduate students, disability studies scholars, and those exploring the sociology of digital technology will benefit from this book. Recommended.
Disability & Society
This book is wide-ranging and ambitious; substantively, it takes in subjects as diverse as cochlear implants, cyborg entities, the Internet, the multi-media access potential of digital broadcasting, the televisual representation of disabled people, Deaf culture, and text-based communication. Theoretically, the book also spans a wide range of issues in exploring the cross-national policy contexts of Australia, the U.S., the UK, and Continental Europe. Most ambitious of all is the attempt to apply postmodern insights into questions of human technology boundaries and identities. The book has an extensive bibliography, which testifies to the breadth of reading that has been undertaken for this work.
An important contribution to disability studies literature and lays the groundwork for more work on technology and disability issues. Graduate students, disability studies scholars, and those exploring the sociology of digital technology will benefit from this book. Recommended.
Karen Peltz Strauss
Goggin and Newell offer a thought provoking analysis of the ways in which the 'new media'—the digitization and advancement of new communications technologies—and the culture of people with disabilities intersect. Their discerning critique forces readers to contemplate the extent to which emerging technologies, rather than liberating people with disabilities, are perpetuating their stigmatization and keeping them at the margins of our society. In their bold and sometimes controversial examination of the issue, Goggin and Newell challenge the regulators and corporations that control and shape new technologies to begin empowering people with disabilities by including them in the policy decisions and design processes that define the new media. An insightful book for anyone working in the field of telecommunications and people with disabilities.
Brian Martin
Digital Disability is the place to start if you're concerned about the intersection of disability and new media. Far from being an automatic source of liberation, the authors show that the Internet is simply another arena for the social creation of disability, though in new forms. The authors expose the social nature of both disability and technology, revealing that disability in the so-called information society is a result of human decisions in which people with disability have all too little say. Using case studies from the Sydney Olympics to chat groups, Digital Disability opens the door to a critical understanding of the technology-disability connection, showing that neither technology nor disability are 'natural' but rather that both are bound up with the exercise of power in society.
Tom Shakespeare
Communication technology is frequently heralded as a panacea for disabled people. Often in practice it further excludes us. Goggin and Newell provide an accessible and hard-hitting account of this fast-changing field. I hope this book is read by those who develop and regulate mobile telephony, broadcasting, and the Internet, so that disabled people can truly benefit from the new information age.
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Product Details

Meet the Author

Gerard Goggin is a postdoctoral fellow in the Centre for Critical and Cultural Studies, University of Queensland. Christopher Newell is senior lecturer in the School of Medicine, University of Tasmania.

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Table of Contents

Part 1 Preface Part 2 Technologies of Disability Chapter 3 Encountering Technology, Media and Culture Chapter 4 Disability in its Social Context Part 5 Networks of Disability Chapter 6 Holding the Line: Telecommunications and Disability Chapter 7 Disability on the Digital Margins: Convergence and the Construction of Disability Part 8 New Mediations of Disability Chapter 9 Getting the Picture on Disability: Digital Broadcasting Futures Chapter 10 Blindspots on the Internet Chapter 11 Cultures of Digital Disability Part 12 Politics of Disabling Digitization Chapter 13 Rewiring Disability

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