Friday night disability: The portrayal of youthful social interactions in television's Friday Night Lights

Ewa McGrail, J. Patrick McGrail, Alicja Rieger

Abstract


Youth with disabilities negotiate social interaction with peers with several notable disadvantages in ableist culture. In addition, the characterizations of both real and fictional characters in mass media, particularly television, have an impact as well. However, youth with disabilities are significantly underrepresented in television series. Using the model of social relations by Alan Fiske and descriptive research design, we quantitatively examined the televisual characterization of a youth who acquires a disability in the television drama Friday Night Lights. We found that using the Fiskeian social model helped to uncover the social reality of disability as portrayed through youthful social interactions, which we closely tracked in the first season of this program. We situate this reality in the broader context of cultural narratives about disability in mass media.


Keywords


Fiskeian analysis; youth social interaction; media representation; Friday Night Lights

Full Text:

HTML


DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.18061/dsq.v40i4.6801

Copyright (c) 2020 Ewa McGrail, J. Patrick McGrail, Alicja Rieger

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Volume 1 through Volume 20, no. 3 of Disability Studies Quarterly is archived on the Knowledge Bank site; Volume 20, no. 4 through the present can be found on this site under Archives.

Beginning with Volume 36, Issue No. 4 (2016), Disability Studies Quarterly is published under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives license unless otherwise indicated. 

Disability Studies Quarterly is published by The Ohio State University Libraries in partnership with the Society for Disability Studies.

If you encounter problems with the site or have comments to offer, including any access difficulty due to incompatibility with adaptive technology, please contact libkbhelp@lists.osu.edu.

ISSN: 2159-8371 (Online); 1041-5718 (Print)