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ERIC Number: EJ1057529
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014
Pages: 19
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 63
ISSN: EISSN-1183-1189
Autism Spectrum Disorder in Popular Media: Storied Reflections of Societal Views
Belcher, Christina; Maich, Kimberly
Brock Education: A Journal of Educational Research and Practice, v23 n2 p97-115 Spr 2014
This article explores how storied representations of characters with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) are typified in a world that is increasingly influenced by popular media. Twenty commercially published children's picture books, popular novels, mainstream television programs, and popular movies from 2006-2012 were selected using purposive, maximum variation sampling and analyzed through Krippendorff's six-step approach to social content analysis. From this 20-unit sample, results show that television characters with ASD tend to be portrayed as intellectually stimulating geniuses who make us aspire to be like them; movies tend to show those with ASD as heroes, conquering seemingly impossible odds; novels tend to present ASD in a complex, authentic context of family and community, rife with everyday problems; picture books appear to be moving towards a clinical presentation of ASD. Common cross-categorical themes portray scientific, clinical, and/or savant-like traits that tend to glamourize challenges inherent to ASD.
Brock University Faculty of Educatino. 500 Glenridge Avenue, Saint Catharines, ON, L2S 3A1 Canada. Tel: 905-688-5550 ext. 3733; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A