Sexualities 12 (5):613--628 (2009)

Steve Jones
University of Northumbria at Newcastle
This article explores the various ethical and legal limitations faced by researchers studying extreme or ‘ shock’ pornographies, beginning with generic and disciplinary contexts, and focusing specifically upon the assumption that textual analysis unproblematically justifies certain pornographies, while legal contexts utilize a prohibitive gaze. Are our academic freedoms of speech endangered by legislations that restrict our access to non-mainstream images, forcing them further into taboo locales? If so, is the ideological normalization of sexuality inextricable from our research methodologies? Simultaneously, can we justify researchers being allowed access to materials that are not deemed suitable for general consumption, which may further bolster normalized hierarchies of class-privilege and cultural capital?
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