Representing Disabled People in Colombian News Outlets. A Preliminary Exploration from Corpus Assisted Discourse Analysis and Critical Disability Studies.

Research on the representations of disabled people in Colombian news outlets has been widely done from a cultural and literary perspective in the English as well as the Spanish-speaking worlds (Gallop 2019; McRuer 2018; Mitchell and Snyder 2015; Antebi and Jörgensen 2016; Gutiérrez-Coba et al. 2017; Pardo Pedraza 2017; Rutter-Jensen 2017).
Scholars and activists have argued that disabled Colombians are challenged to live an autonomous, independent and free of violence life (Correa-Montoya and Castro-Martínez 2016). Most recent studies have also been done from the lens of Critical Discourse Analysis (García León and García León 2022b). The authors argue that stereotypes distributed by the media still prevail, and neoliberal policies may have negatively affected access to health care services and resources (García León and García León 2022a). However, a corpus-based approach has not been previously considered when exploring the labels used in Colombian news outlets to represent this diverse group. This study aims at filling the gap using a large set of corpora (approximately 577,905 tokens) of online media articles published from news outlets with the highest readership in Colombia such as El Tiempo, El Espectador, and Revista Semana. This novel analysis consists of quantitative as well as qualitative research methods, namely frequencies of usage (occurrence and co-occurrence, Gries 2010) and concordances (Scott 2020). Preliminary findings suggest that persona(s) con discapacidad and discapacitado/a(s) are the most commonly used labels, followed by población discapacitada, condición de discapacidad, and situación de discapacidad. In addition to the aforementioned labels, concordances on discapacidad and mental will also be investigated in order to provide an in-depth understating of the construction of identities of a diverse group with a plenitude of intersecting identities (gender non-conforming, migrants, indigenous, etc.) along with sociopolitical nuances associated with such linguistic choices.

Author: Monica Rodriguez-Castro