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Representing Youth with Disability on Television

Glee, Breaking Bad, and Parenthood


Dana Hasson

Representing Youth with Disability on Television is a complex and multidimensional mainstream cultural discourse that examines specific stereotypes in fictional programming. The book draws attention to the group labeled as disabled, which is often marginalized, misrepresented, and misunderstood in the media, by analyzing the popular television programs Glee, Breaking Bad, and Parenthood. To obtain a more rigorous account of the way that youth (9–18 years of age) with disability are framed on television, this analysis examines the following issues: how research on popular culture is contextualized within social theory; the theoretical perspectives on representations of disability in popular culture; and the various contexts, genres, media, representations, and definitions of youth with disability in popular culture. The text also outlines the historical growth of disability, which is crucial for a discussion regarding the changing dimensions of popular culture. Critical hermeneutics, content analysis, and methodological bricolage are the mélange of methodologies used to closely examine the dominant models of disability (social vs. medical) used in the portrayal of disabled youth on television today.
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Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

Names: Hasson, Dana, author. Title: Representing youth with disability on television:Glee, Breaking Bad and Parenthood / Dana Hasson.Description: New York: Peter Lang, 2016Series: Critical qualitative research; vol. 23ISSN 1947-5993Includes bibliographical references.Identifiers: LCCN 2015047352| ISBN 978-1-4331-3251-3 (hardcover: alk. paper)ISBN 978-1-4331-3250-6 (paperback: alk. paper) | ISBN 978-1-4539-1811-1 (e-book)Subjects: LCSH: People with disabilities on television.Youth with disabilities. | Youth on television. | Sociology of disability.People with disabilities in mass media.Classification: LCC PN1992.8.H36 H37 2016 | DDC 791.45/6527—dc23LC record available at

Bibliographic information published by Die Deutsche Nationalbibliothek.Die Deutsche Nationalbibliothek lists this publication in the “Deutsche Nationalbibliografie”; detailed bibliographic data are available on the Internet at

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