The Politics of the Hero's Journey: A Narratology of American Special Education Textbooks

Elise Assaf, Jennifer James, Scot Danforth

Abstract


This paper explores introduction to special education textbooks in order to illuminate how they portray the social and political work of special educators, especially in relation to disabled students and adults. This study analyzed five leading special education textbooks used in university teacher education programs using traditional methods of discourse analysis, including line-by-line coding and language-in-use with valuation. The analysis and coding tracked story plot components and characters associated with five phases evident in the narrative structure of a hero's journey: (1) the call to adventure, (2) supernatural aid, (3) threshold guardians, (4) trials and tribulations, and (5) the return. Discussions of the findings illustrate the problematic ways in which the textbooks create a heroic narrative of past and current elements tied to the field of special education.



Keywords


special education; narratology; narrative structure; critical discourse analysis; hero's journey; inclusion; special education textbooks

Full Text:

HTML


DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.18061/dsq.v41i2.6984

Copyright (c) 2021 Elise Assaf, Jennifer James, Scot Danforth

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)