Pornography: The Production and Consumption of Inequality

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Psychology Press, 1998 - Social Science - 187 pages
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No other issue has divided the feminist movement in the past two decades quite like pornography. By providing the first book to engage in an empirical investigation of the pornography industry itself, the authors--each grounded in the radical feminist anti-pornography movement--move beyond the rhetorical bomb-tossing of an often polarized debate.

The authors engage in a systematic examination of the politics, production, content, and consumption of contemporary mass-market heterosexual pornography, thereby contributing to a fuller understanding of pornography's role in the cultural construction of gender, racial and sexual identities, and relations. They begin with an overview of the social and political history of the feminist anti-pornography movement and the debate over pornography within feminism. Then they address the various rhetorical dodges--definitional, legal, and causal--used to distort the fact that institutionalized pornography helps maintain the sexual and social oppression of women within a patriarchal system.

Exploring the beginnings of the commercial pornography industry, the book focuses in part on the history of Playboymagazine. It also analyzes the content of contemporary mass-market videos. Dines, Jensen, and Russo argue that the sexual ideology of patriarchy eroticizes domination and submission, with pornography playing a significant role in how these values are mediated and normalized in American society. They discuss the effects of pornography on the lives of those who use it and those against whom it is used. In so doing, the authors hope to contribute to creating a world in which sex is not a site of oppression but of liberation.
 

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Contents

I
1
II
9
III
37
IV
65
V
101
VI
147
VII
155
VIII
163
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About the author (1998)

Gail Dines is a professor of sociology and women s studies at Wheelock College in Boston, where she is also chair of the American studies department. She has been researching and writing about the pornography industry for over twenty years. She has written numerous articles on pornography, media images of women, and representations of race in pop culture. Her latest book is PORNLAND: How Pornography has Hijacked our Sexuality. She is a cofounder of the activist group Stop Porn Culture!

Ann Russo is Associate Professor of Women's Studies at DePaul University in Chicago, Illinois. Her research, teaching, and activism focus on the harassment, abuse, and violence in women's lives. She is co-editor of Third World Women and the Politics of Feminism (1990) and co-author of Pornography: The Production and Consumption of Inequality (1998).

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