Violence and the Pornographic Imaginary: The Politics of Sex, Gender, and Aggression in Hardcore Pornography

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Routledge, 2012 - Social Science - 246 pages
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No cultural product reveals our collective fascination with sexual violence more candidly than pornography. Popular heterosexual pornographies showcase scenes of intense sexual aggression and cruelty that are gendered in repetitive, patterned configurations—configurations that are designedto arouse.

Purcell uses comparative critical readings of popular U.S. pornographies to illuminate the changing psychosocial foundations of sexually aggressive fantasies. By examining how depictions of violence in pornography have changed over the past forty years, she investigates the evolving desires and anxieties of the genre’s growing U.S. audience. Adopting a thick descriptive approach, she moves beyond the mere observation and recording of instances of sexism and violence, elucidating the changing aesthetics, themes, and conventions of depicted sexual aggression and showing how they have emerged in specific socio-historical contexts. Finally, she draws from a range of industry publications and fan forums to examine the fabric and function of misogyny and violence in people’s fantasies and everyday lives.

 

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Contents

Introduction
1
Rethinking the Pornographic the Fantastic and the Real
15
Heat and Hostility in 1970s Pornography
40
The Two Faces of 1980s Pornography
67
Realism in 1990s Pornography
81
In Search of Extremes in 2000s Pornography
107
Aesthetics of Arousal in Contemporary Pornography
126
Pleasure Pain and SelfRevelation in Todays Hardcore
141
List of Pornographic Films Viewed for this Project
174
Methodology and Methodological Limitations
179
Defining Violence or Not
186
A Closer Look at 1990s Pornography
191
Distinguishing Sadism and BDSM
195
Notes
199
Bibliography
218
Index
239

Pornography Feminism and Tomorrows Sexual Politics
161

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About the author (2012)

Natalie Purcellholds a PhD in Sociology from University of California, Santa Cruz and is an affiliated faculty member in the Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences at the University of California, San Francisco, USA.

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