Reflections of Autism in Media: My Name is Khan

Author/s: Ayşe Sonay Türkmen, Fatma Kalpaklı, İsmail Sevinç

DOI: 10.16917/sd.68936

OnlineFirst published on December 11, 2015

Year: 2015 Vol: 35 Number: 1

Abstract

Autism, which is diagnosed in the early ages and may be defined as “a disorder of neural development characterized by impaired social interaction and verbal and non-verbal communication, and by restricted, repetitive or stereotyped behavior”, begins to attract the attention of media more and more day by day. Especially, in cinema, which is a very popular branch of media, the number of films dealing with the issue of autism begins to increase. One of the films is My Name is Khan directed by Karan Johar. In this film, cultural and adaptation problems faced in daily life of Khan are shown. Thus, the audience grasps the opportunity to enter into the world of autistic people through Khan and may develop empathy with these people.

In this film, Khan’s situation is three times more challenging than the situation of other autistics since he is not only an autistic, but also a Muslim with a dark skin color in post- 9/11 America. This study was conducted to examine thematically My Name is Khan.

Keywords
Autism, my name is Khan, media, thematic analysis

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