The Cultural Politics of Media and Popular Culture - Disability, Obesity and Ageing

Media and Cultural Studies

Since 2002 the School of Communications and Arts at ECU has offered MST3151 Media and Identity, a unit which examines the emergence of 'identity' as an important cultural category, and explores the role of the media in its development. Over the last decade, through the teaching of this widely popular unit, a great deal of research has emerged and culminated in the production of 'Disability, Obesity and Ageing: Popular Media Identifications'. This text, written by the lectures and tutors of MST3151 Debbie Rodan, Katie Ellis and Pia Lebeck, offers an engaging account of a new area of pressing concern, analysing the way in which ‘spurned’ identities are depicted and reacted to in televisual genres and online forums.


By examining the symbolic power of the media, this book presents case studies from drama, situation comedies, reality and documentary television programmes popular in the UK, USA and Australia to shed light on the representation of disability, obesity and ageing, and the manner in which their status as unwanted and unwelcome identities is perpetuated. Professor of Communications at ECU Lelia Green offered that, ‘This thoughtful, accessible book engages with television’s constructions of what it is to live with disability, obesity and/or an ageing body, and argues that the meanings of these categories are subject to constant negotiation. Resistance is not futile!’


A theoretically sophisticated exploration of television as a translator of identity, and the exploration of identity categories in allied virtual spaces, this book will be of interest to sociologists, as well as scholars of popular culture, and cultural and media studies.


The Department of Media and Cultural Studies at ECU is conducting cutting edge research that has a strong social and cultural impact. Students studying in this discipline are given the opportunity to work closely with these lecturers and tutors, collaborating on innovative research projects and to see their work culminate in publications that have beneficial impact and solve real world problems.