The Subject of Porn Research: Inquiring Bodies and Lines of Resistance

  • Karen Gabriel
Part of the Gender, Development and Social Change book series (GDSC)


The current status of research into pornography is marked by several rather contradictory tendencies. On the one hand, the volume of research and writing on porn has been steadily increasing, and gaining a degree of academic acceptability within the Western academy—particularly since Linda Williams’ volume on porn, Hard Core: Power, Pleasure, and theFrenzy of the Visible” (1989). In Eric Schaefer’s words, “she made it safe” for scholars to engage with porn “and not face the wrath of steaming administrators, snickering students, and their apoplectic parents” (2005: 8). That is, “within the field of film and media studies adult film and video is now an accepted, and legitimate, area of scholarly inquiry” (2005: 10). On the other hand, work on porn continues to be stigmatized, as Georgina Voss (2012) notes:


Sexual Pleasure Feminist Debate Feminist Standpoint Contradictory Tendency Stigma Contagion 
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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Karen Gabriel
    • 1
  1. 1.ISSThe HagueThe Netherlands

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