‘Super disabilities’ vs ‘Disabilities’? Theorizing the role of ableism in (mis)representational mythology of disability in the marketplace

Shauna Kearney, Ian Brittain, Eva Kipnis

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    45 Citations (Scopus)
    215 Downloads (Pure)


    People with disabilities (PWD) constitute one of the largest minority groups. While recognition and inclusion of this group in the marketplace has seen improvement, the effects of (mis)representation of PWD in shaping the discourse on fostering marketplace inclusion of socially marginalized consumers remain little understood. By extending the theory of ableism into the context of PWD representation and applying it to the analysis of the We’re the Super humans advertisement developed for the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, this paper examines the relationship between the (mis)representation and the inclusion/exclusion discourse. By uncovering that PWD misrepresentations can partially mask and/or redress the root causes of exclusion experienced by PWD in their lived realities, it contributes to the research agenda on the transformative role of consumption cultures perpetuating harmful, exclusionary social perceptions of marginalized groups versus contributing to advancement of their inclusion.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)545-567
    Number of pages23
    JournalConsumption, Markets and Culture
    Issue number5-6
    Early online date11 Jan 2019
    Publication statusPublished - 2 Nov 2019


    • (dis)ability
    • (mis)representation
    • Ableism
    • advertising
    • inclusion/exclusion
    • “supercrip” stereotyping

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Social Psychology
    • Anthropology
    • Economics and Econometrics
    • Marketing


    Dive into the research topics of '‘Super disabilities’ vs ‘Disabilities’? Theorizing the role of ableism in (mis)representational mythology of disability in the marketplace'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this