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Sunderland Repository records the research produced by the University of Sunderland including practice-based research and theses.

Extreme Concern: Regulating ‘Dangerous Pictures’ in the United Kingdom

Smith, Clarissa (2010) Extreme Concern: Regulating ‘Dangerous Pictures’ in the United Kingdom. Journal of Law and Society Special Issue: Special Issue: Regulating Sex/Work: From Crime Control to Neo-liberalism?, 37. pp. 171-188.

Item Type: Article


This article begins with an exploration of section 5 of the recent Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008, otherwise known as the ‘Dangerous Pictures Act’ which outlaws the possession of ‘extreme images’, and the Rapid Evidence Assessment belatedly used to justify the legislation. We then examine the claims of the growth, dissemination, and widespread availability of material which ‘glories in sexual violence’ and its putative ‘effects’. This current crisis over the meanings of pornography highlights the rhetorical function of the conceptual discourse of ‘pornographication’, its links to problematic figurations of the consumer or viewer of explicit materials, and how the identification of ‘extreme’ pornography has given voice to a range of anxieties about media spectacularization of the body. We end by arguing that opposition to the legislation is not just a matter of protecting personal freedoms or refusing to recognize the existence of harms; instead, we propose that academics will need to question the very parameters on which the impulses to legislate are based.

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More Information

Depositing User: Clarissa Smith


Item ID: 6098
Official URL:

Users with ORCIDS

ORCID for Clarissa Smith: ORCID iD

Catalogue record

Date Deposited: 22 Mar 2016 15:22
Last Modified: 18 Dec 2019 15:38


Author: Clarissa Smith ORCID iD
Author: Feona Attwood
Author: Clarissa Smith

University Divisions

Faculty of Arts and Creative Industries
Faculty of Arts and Creative Industries > School of Media and Communications


Law > Criminal Law
Culture > History and Politics
Law > Law
Media > Media and Cultural Studies

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