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Pornography and Cultural Studies

Pornography is a hotly debated area in academic feminist circles, with the pro-pornography feminists arguing that the pornographic text is polysemic with emancipatory value to develop transgressive desire (see Strossen 1995). The anti-pornography feminists, on the other hand, argue that pornography causes harm to women in both the production and consumption of pornographic material (see Dworkin 1981). To suggest that there was disagreement among the writers is to minimize the enormous differences between the various camps as to the definition, nature, effects, and legal status of pornography. Some of the central points of contention concern the nature of human agency, social structure, and cultural production. Those feminists who have adopted an anti-pornography position posit a social structure, which conditions, limits, and determines human agency. While ...

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