Date of Award


Publication Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name



Communication Studies

First Advisor

Linton, Jim,


Mass Communications.



Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.


This study presents a semiotic investigation of the representation of the 'disabled body' in advertisements for rehabilitation goods. Advertisements are utilized from two major Canadian disability-oriented magazines. The historical context is late twentieth century Canadian/North American advertising and society. The semiology of cultural production studies provide the tools for methodological analysis and the materialist theory of the production of disability is used to understand and explain the findings. Analysis of these advertisements includes the way such images are shaped by the economic logic and social organization between advertisers and their clients. To this end, three interrelated components are considered as being critical towards understanding the portrayal of the 'disabled body' in the advertisements. These include an assessment of the rise of a consumer economy which promoted the exclusion of disabled people from the workforce, the rise of advertising and its role in promoting images of physical appearance, and the continuous reinforcement of these images by the mass media. This study reiterates that the advertisements for rehabilitation goods both emanate and become translators of culture, in that they tell us something about the place of disability in western society. (Abstract shortened by UMI.)Dept. of Communication Studies. Paper copy at Leddy Library: Theses & Major Papers - Basement, West Bldg. / Call Number: Thesis1999 .T46. Source: Masters Abstracts International, Volume: 39-02, page: 0314. Adviser: Jim Linton. Thesis (M.A.)--University of Windsor (Canada), 1999.