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Perspectives on Pornography and Erotica: Nudes, Prudes and Attitudes

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Perspectives on Pornography and Erotica: Nudes, Prudes and Attitudes

Campbell, Margaret S (2012) Perspectives on Pornography and Erotica: Nudes, Prudes and Attitudes. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

The study of the multi-billion dollar industries of pornography and erotica, known in the academy as ‘Porn Studies’, has recently been revised with contributions from authors such as Linda Williams, Debbie Nathan, Gail Dines, Pamela Paul, Harry Brod, Bernard Arcand, and Joseph Slade. Previous to this paradigm shift in theorizing about pornography and erotica, arguments made by authors such as Andrea Dworkin, Catherine MacKinnon, Robin Morgan, Susan Brownmiller, and others traditionally discussed pornography in terms of a pro-censorship anti-pornography dualist framework.
The last three decades have witnessed a paradigm shift as feminists and gender theorists have reexamined pornography and erotica and anti-porn proponents such as Susan Brownmiller began to question their earlier positions and even validated pornography with a cost-benefit equation on the individuals. This thesis reviews the more traditional perspectives as well as the influx of new perspectives on pornography and erotica.
This research project is not solely about pornography and erotica. This project examines the history of sexual representation and the changing cultural and technological landscape of values, relationships, sex, our bodies, and the wider ‘pornification’ of society as proposed by author Pamela Paul. This work provides a detailed literature review of relevant sources and a historical examination of representations of sex in ‘restricted’ or taboo genres such as pornography and erotica, as well as mainstream media and classical art. The nature of this research is not evaluative and does not rely on participant interviews. However interviews with a convenient sample indicate a range of reactions to pornography. While most of this thesis explores the debates about pornography, and erotica, I did informal, interviews with seven individuals — whose take on Internet pornography added some value to the “expert” testimony and a range of values and perspectives. This research provides readers with comprehensive information on pornography and erotica, so that they may make a decision about how to deal with pornography and the so-called ‘pornification’ of society.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Sociology and Anthropology
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Campbell, Margaret S
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M.A.
Program:Sociology
Date:May 2012
ID Code:974071
Deposited By:MARGARET CAMPBELL
Deposited On:19 Jun 2012 15:28
Last Modified:19 Jun 2012 15:28
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