© 2013

The Unacceptable

  • John Potts
  • John Scannell

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-ix
  2. Introduction: What Is the Unacceptable?

    1. John Potts, John Scannell
      Pages 1-20
  3. The Socially Unacceptable

  4. Representing the Unacceptable

  5. Back Matter
    Pages 223-234

About this book


Confronting the issue of the unacceptable as a social category, this collection of international essays provides distinctive perspectives on the theme of what is deemed socially acceptable. The book reveals the ways category of the unacceptable reflects sexual, racial and political fault-lines of a society.


censorship pornography free speech hate speech moral panics drug culture pedophilia gay marriage childhood sexuality smoking transgressive behaviour childhood identity liberty Nation

Editors and affiliations

  • John Potts
    • 1
  • John Scannell
    • 1
  1. 1.Macquarie UniversityAustralia

About the editors

SANTIAGO BALLINA Freelance writer, Mexico CLAIRE COLEBROOK Edwin Erle Sparks Professor of English at Penn State University, USA MITCHELL DEAN Professor of Sociology, University of Newcastle, Australia CHRIS HAYWOOD Senior Lecturer in the Department of Education at the University of Newcastle, UK ELLIOTT LOGAN Researcher in the School of English, Media Studies, and Art History at the University of Queensland, Australia CATHARINE LUMBY Professor and Director of the Journalism and Media Research Centre at the University of NSW, Australia ALEXANDRE MARCHANT Teaching Assistant at University Paris X Nanterre, France NAOMI STEKELENBURG Former research psychologist at the Mental Health Research Institute and St Vincents Hospital in Melbourne, Australia TIMOTHY R. WILSON Professor of Theatre in the Department of Dance and Theatre at the University of North Texas, USA

Bibliographic information


The unacceptable tempts and tests us with new possibilities and unimaginable horrors. This fraught combination of creativity and destructiveness remains the perilous fault line where the most telling cultural tensions reveal themselves. Neither quick to condemn nor seduced by easy enthusiasm, this bold collection takes up the challenge of the theory and practice of the unacceptable, significantly advancing our understanding of the shifting limits of what we are allowed to think, say and be.' - Nick Mansfield, author of Masochism: the Art of Power , Theorizing War and The God Who Deconstructs Himself .