Taboos stymie a frank look at porn

March 30, 2007

Social taboos and a lack of funding have turned parts of the multibillion-pound global pornography industry into no-go areas for research, scholars said this week.

Academics spoke to The Times Higher about the difficulties of teaching and research in the field. They argued that there was an "urgent need" for more critical engagement with pornography.

Stephen Maddison, senior lecturer in cultural studies at the University of East London, said: "Most people agree it is one of the biggest branches of the entertainment industry - and it isn't just backstreet, it is one of the mainstreams of contemporary culture.

"One of the urgent things about it, and why it needs to be studied, is that what is happening in pornography bears a strong relationship to what is happening in the culture generally. It is a mirror of what is happening in society."

 

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