Something special: Care, pre-school television and the dis/abled child

Holdsworth, A. (2015) Something special: Care, pre-school television and the dis/abled child. Journal of Popular Television, 3(2), pp. 163-178. (doi:10.1386/jptv.3.2.163_1)

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Through a close reading of the series Something Special (2003–), this article explores the implicit and explicit rhetorics of ‘care’ within the remit and content of the UK pre-school children’s channel CBeebies. With its address to an audience that includes disabled children and children with special educational needs, CBeebies is celebrated as an inclusive site of play and learning for its diverse audience of 0–6 year-olds. In Something Special (2003–), for example, Mr Tumble’s playful encounters with the world around him are supported through the use of Makaton, a sign language designed to help both children in the early stages of language development and those with communication disorders. With the channel’s emphasis on learning, development and ‘care’, this article questions the ways in which the disabled child both challenges and reinforces understandings of childhood and development. By exploring the manifestations of touch, texture, performance, play and repetition within this programme, it considers this inclusive mode of address for what it reveals about forms of intersubjectivity and non-verbal modes of communication.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Holdsworth, Dr Amy
Authors: Holdsworth, A.
College/School:College of Arts > School of Culture and Creative Arts > Theatre Film and TV Studies
Journal Name:Journal of Popular Television
First Published:First published in Journal of Popular Television 3(2):163-178
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher

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