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Title: On Pornography: Literature, Sexuality and Obscenity Law
Contributor(s): Williamson, DG  (author); Hunter, I (author); Saunders, D (author)
Publication Date: 2004
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Abstract: ‘On Pornography’ was written in the context of the intense cultural- political debates in the 1970s and 1980s in which pornography was recast as problematic after it’s neat inclusion in a discourse of sexual liberation and the rights of the private individual (right s to which Clarence Thom as was famously to appeal in the US senate hearing on his confirmation as Supreme Court Justice when he indicated that he would refuse to answer questions concerning the privacy of his bedroom and so his use of pornography). Decisive here were the debates within and from feminism. One major emphasis of which sharply refocused pornography as a matter not of freedom of expression but of the exercising of a form of power directed first and foremost against women. Perceived as such, pornography raised questions of legal and social control which prompted a variety of responses, including within feminism (one significant example of which is crystallised in the dual emphasis in the name of the British organisation ‘Campaign Against Pornography and Censorship’). The aim of Hunter, Saunders and Williamson's book was to give an account of the policing of - the legal and social controls on - pornography, mainly in Britain and the US, from the eighteenth century through to the present day; this in the interests of demonstrating the historically specific nature of pornography.
Publication Type: Book Chapter
Source of Publication: The Language, Discourse, Society Reader, p. 316-339
Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
Place of Publication: Basingstoke
ISBN: 0333763718
Field of Research (FOR): 200599 Literary Studies not elsewhere classified
HERDC Category Description: B2 Chapter in a Book - Other
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Series Name: Language, Discourse, Society
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