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Pornography in a Free Society

Pornography in a Free Society


  • Date Published: March 1991
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521406000

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About the Authors
  • Pornography in a Free Society deals with what has been called the 'civil war over smut'. It addresses an issue about which citizens of Western nations are sharply divided. Gordon Hawkins and Franklin Zimring attempt to look at the problem of pornography in a wider perspective than that of partisan political debate. To that end, they compare two American reports on pornography commissioned by Presidents Johnson and Reagan, the first published in 1970 and the latter in 1986, with the report of the British Committee on Obscenity and Film Censorship, which appeared during the years between the American reports. They discuss the radical feminist challenge to pornography and the question of pornography and children. Going on to consider likely future developments, the authors argue that the furore over pornography and the appointment of commissions are part of a 'ceremony of adjustment' to widespread availability of sexually explicit material and they predict less social concern about pornography as time passes.

    Reviews & endorsements

    'It is certainly the best and most intelligent work about pornography for a long time.' John Kaplan, Stanford Law School

    '[A]n intelligent and scholarly, yet easy to read work on a controversial, often emotional topic.' Choice

    'This is a highly informative and thought-provoking book. It makes a worth-while contribution to our understanding of public policy and pornography.' Ethics

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    Product details

    • Date Published: March 1991
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521406000
    • length: 252 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 153 x 17 mm
    • weight: 0.36kg
    • contains: 3 b/w illus. 15 tables
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    List of tables and figures
    Part I. Pornography and the Pornography Commissions: Introduction
    1. Experts on what? The origins and composition of pornography commissions
    2. On definitions
    3. The nature and distribution of pornography in the United States
    4. Pornographic communication and social harm: a review of the reviews
    5. Freedom of expression and the public law of pornography
    Part II. Public Policy After Liberalization: Introduction
    6. Pornography and the subjugation of women: the radical feminist challenge
    7. Pornography and child protection
    8. Pornography in perspective: social response in the noncensoring society
    9. Notes toward the future

  • Authors

    Gordon Hawkins, University of California, Berkeley

    Franklin E. Zimring, University of California, Berkeley

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