A Discourse Analysis of the Representation of People with Down Syndrome on GMA's Documentaries and Features


Dee, N.T. (2017). A Discourse Analysis of the Representation of People with Down syndrome on GMA’s Documentaries and Features. Unpublished Undergraduate Thesis. University of the Philippines College of Mass Communication. This study examined and analyzed the current representation of people with Down syndrome in documentaries and feature segments produced by GMA 7 and GMA News TV. Exemplified by the prevalent social stigmatization that people with Down syndrome are experiencing because of their discredited stigma – provided by their physical appearance – the study explores the educational characteristics of documentaries in creating a positive relationship between people with Down syndrome and the audience. Theory of Representation proposed by Stuart Hall and Theory of Stigma by Ervin Goffman were used alongside textual analysis as method of this research. Eight (8) broadcast documentaries and feature episodes – from Reel Time, Wagas, Tunay na Buhay, and Kapuso Mo, Jessica Soho – were interpreted through the analysis of the language, message, and images used to portray the person with Down syndrome in each episode. The study showed a significant positive change towards the media portrayal of people with Down syndrome compared to past representations. There is an effort to provide stories of different people with Down syndrome without generalizing the attitudes, characteristics, and capabilities of these people. ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________ KEYWORDS: Down syndrome, representation, social stigmatization, GMA 7 and GMA News TV, stigma

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