Reading the BDSM romance: Reader responses to Fifty Shades

Deller, R. A. and Smith, Clarissa (2013) Reading the BDSM romance: Reader responses to Fifty Shades. Sexualities, 16 (8). pp. 932-950. ISSN 1363-4607

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Abstract

This article presents the results of survey data from readers of the Fifty Shades novel series. It is almost 30 years since Janice Radway’s (1984) Reading the Romance was published and audience studies have burgeoned. However, public discourse about E L James’s trilogy was couched in assumptions about ‘formulaic’ genre fiction, alongside debates about its ‘mainstreaming’ of BDSM, and little of this discussion drew upon the voices of readers. Our research reveals readers’ complex, often contradictory, responses to the novels. For these readers, the acts of reading and discussing the novels offer a range of (dis)pleasures, from erotic enjoyment to the amusements of critique; from self-gratification to participation in cultural dialogue.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: Culture > English Language and Literature
Media > Media and Cultural Studies
Divisions: Creative and Cultural Practices Beacon > Media and Cultural Studies Workstream
Faculty of Arts Design and Media
Depositing User: Clarissa Smith
Date Deposited: 18 Mar 2016 14:37
Last Modified: 19 Sep 2017 20:56
URI: http://sure.sunderland.ac.uk/id/eprint/6104

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