Disabling Prejudice

Suggs, D.W. & Guthrie, J.L. (2016).  Disabling Prejudice: Using Images of Paralympic Athletes to Challenge Social Attitudes Toward People with Disabilities, presented at Sports Media Consortium inaugural conference, Atlanta, February 2016.

Abstract: Part of the goal of the International Paralympic Committee is to “touch the heart of all people for a more equitable society.” Images of athletes with permanent visible physical disabilities, it is thought by proponents of adaptive sports as well as marketers who use such athletes in campaigns, can change able-bodied people’ s impressions of all people with disabilities and their capabilities. We theorized that this occurs through parasocial contact and resultant changes of social identity. We tested this experimentally using a portrayal of an amputee sprinter and found evidence that viewing it could change viewers’  attitudes toward individuals with disabilities specifically through the emotional components of attitude.

Welch Suggs  Jason Lee Guthrie 

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