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Pornography in a Free Societyby Gordon Hawkins
Synopses & Reviews
Pornography in a Free Society deals with what has been called the "civil war over smut." The past two decades have been high seasons for pornography commissions. They were appointed in the United States in 1968, in Great Britain in 1977, in Canada in 1985, and in the United States again in 1985. In the United States, the report of the first commission was denounced as a pornographer's charter and that of the second as a reflection of the moral militancy of the Reagan counterrevolution. The authors look at the problems of pornography in a broader perspective than that of partisan political debate. They explain why it has become so controversial and divisive an issue in Western nations in recent decades. They discuss the radical feminist challenge to pornography and the question of pornography and children. Considering likely future developments, the authors argue that the furor over pornography and the appointment of commissions are part of a "ceremony of adjustment" to widespread availability of sexually explicit material and they predict less social concern about pornography as time passes. Franklin E. Zimring is Professor of Law and Director of the Earl Warren Legal Institute. Gordon Hawkins is Senior Fellow, Earl Warren Legal Institute at the University of California, Berkeley. Together they have written Capital Punishment and the American Agenda (1986), and The Citizen's Guide to Gun Control (1987).
Why has pornography become so divisive an issue in Western nations in recent decades? This volume looks at the subject from a broad perspective and concludes that currently widespread availability has contributed much to the controversy.
Pornography in a Free Society deals with what has been called the 'civil war over smut'. It addresses an issue about which citizens of Western nations are sharply divided. Gordon Hawkins and Franklin Zimring attempt to look at the problem of pornography in a wider perspective than that of partisan political debate. To that end, they compare two American reports on pornography commissioned by Presidents Johnson and Reagan, the first published in 1970 and the latter in 1986, with the report of the British Committee on Obsenity and Film Censorship, which appeared during the years between the American reports.
This volume looks at pornography from a broad perspective and concludes that its widespread availability has contributed much to the controversy.
Table of Contents
List of tables and figures; Preface; Acknowledgements; Part I. Pornography and the Pornography Commissions: 1. Experts on what? the origins and composition of pornography commissions; 2. On definitions; 3. The nature and distribution of pornography in the United States; 4. Pornographic communication and social harm: a review of the reviews; 5. Freedom of expression and the public law of pornography; Part II. Public Policy After Liberalization: 6. Pornography and the subjugation of women: the radical feminist challenge; 7. Pornography and child protection; 8. Pornography in perspective: social response in the noncensoring society; 9. Notes toward the future; References; Index.
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