The following qualitative study examines the social media’s role in the self-representation of disability identity and community. The data samples analyzed in this study are public blog posts authored and published by persons with disabilities. All postings collected were creations of authors who openly self-identified as persons with disabilities on their given webpage. The study uses snowball sampling to select 11 blog sites by authors who identify as persons with disabilities. Three samples were taken from each blog site, for a total of 33 samples; the samples included the inaugural blog which generally identifies purpose and demographic factors, and a randomly selected post from 2016 and 2017, respectively. Content analysis derived the themes of disability identity, externalization of their disability, representation, media, and intersectionality. Results indicated that social media has allowed people with disabilities to more easily access social spaces and conversations that allow them to represent and advocate for themselves. Furthermore, the unique blogging element of self-reporting allowed disability bloggers to better address the complexities of how social identities, such as gender, sexual orientation, race, and socioeconomic class, interact with one’s disability experience. Ultimately, social media is seen by people with disabilities as a valuable tool in providing representation for minority social identities that might otherwise go ignored in mainstream media.
|Commitee:||Ranney, Molly J., Santhiveeran, Janaki|
|School:||California State University, Long Beach|
|Department:||Social Work, School of|
|School Location:||United States -- California|
|Source:||MAI 58/01M(E), Masters Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Social work, Communication, Sociology|
|Keywords:||Disability, Disability identity, Intersectionality, Representation, Social media, Social work|
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