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Title: Object! : the re-emergence of feminist anti-pornography activism in the UK
Author: Long, Julia Maria
Awarding Body: London South Bank University
Current Institution: London South Bank University
Date of Award: 2011
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This thesis explores feminist anti-pornography activism in the UK in the first decade of the twenty-first century, in the context of what has been termed the 'mainstreaming‘ of pornography. It investigates how and why feminist anti-porn activism is re-emerging in this particular historical moment, examining the ways in which groups are organised, and how feminist campaigns around pornography are developed, executed and received. It provides an in-depth analysis and theorisation of the ideological stance, ethos, tactical repertoires and impact of campaign groups, along with a detailed consideration of the motivations, perspectives and experiences of activists. The thesis locates feminist anti-pornography groups and activists in various contexts: the 'mainstreaming' of pornography (or 'pornification'); feminist debates around pornography and the sex industry; second and third wave feminist activism; debates around ‗post-feminism‘ and the resurgence of grassroots feminist activism in the UK. This contextualisation enables me to assess the significance of current feminist anti-pornography activism in the light of social, political and cultural trends, and with regard to other feminist priorities and agendas. The thesis draws on qualitative research data gathered from feminist ethnographic studies of two London-based groups, along with twenty-four in-depth, semi-structured interviews conducted with activists across the UK. Utilising a theoretical framework drawing on social movement literature and feminist theory, I analyse and interpret my research findings in order to construct an argument regarding the impact of feminist anti-pornography activism and its significance in relation to contemporary feminism. Emphasising continuities between second wave radical feminist analyses of pornography and current activist perspectives, I argue that their foregrounding of issues of violence against women, objectification and gender inequality, along with their critical engagement with concepts such as 'choice', 'agency' and 'empowerment', poses a challenge to postfeminist and liberal perspectives on pornography.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available