Investigating the Aesthetics, Ethics and Politics of Feminist Desires in Pornographic Media

Mondin, Alessandra (2018) Investigating the Aesthetics, Ethics and Politics of Feminist Desires in Pornographic Media. Doctoral thesis, University of Sunderland.

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The early 1980s saw the emergence of feminist porn which had the intention of producing sexually explicit imagery that differed from mainstream pornography and its representations of gender and sexuality. The productions of feminist porn have become more and more diverse, particularly from the early 2000s, shaping the field through their challenge of ‗dominant representations of gender, sexuality, race, ethnicity, class, ability, age, body type, and other identity markers‘ (Taormino et al. 2013, p. 9). This doctoral project assesses the importance of queer and/or feminist pornographies for their audiences. The research participates in discussions around feminism and porn, in particular in those areas that consider pornography as a cultural practice (e.g. Williams 1989 and Attwood 2010) and that investigate people‘s ‗experience of pornography‘ (Attwood 2005, p. 65) in their everyday lives. To date, investigations of feminist and/or queer pornographies have focused on the political intentions of producers and some content analysis, but in this project I have used mixed methods and interdisciplinary approaches in order to open up new insights and perspectives. Participant observation and interviews were undertaken with key players in Berlin at different editions of the PornFilmFestival Berlin and of the PorYes Feminist Porn Awards to explore the landscape of queer and/or feminist pornographies. An audience questionnaire of 27 quantitative and qualitative questions gave unique access to information about use, demographic, likes, expectations, and dislikes regarding queer and/or feminist pornographies. Using snowballing techniques to circulate it, the questionnaire was online from October 2013 to April 2014 and achieved 226 completed questionnaires. Using an inductive approach to analyse the main themes that have emerged from the large amount of data gathered, my central focus in this thesis is on the audiences of queer/feminist pornographies; their understandings of what queer and/or feminist pornographies look like and what their main features are; the audiences‘ likes and disappointments; their meaning-making processes; and the place and significance these pornographies have in their lives. Most importantly, the project investigates the ethics, politics, and aesthetics of queer and feminist pornographies through their politics of representations and through their affective entanglements. The project expands current understandings about media uses in people‘s everyday lives. It also contributes to the field of porn studies by providing new insights on porn niches and porn audiences.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Divisions: Collections > Theses
Depositing User: Klaire Purvis-Shepherd
Date Deposited: 26 Jun 2019 11:11
Last Modified: 27 Jun 2019 11:00

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