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Violence and War in Culture and the Media by Athina Karatzogianni

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7    Loving violence?

The ambiguities of SM imagery incontemporary popular culture

Sarah Harper and Majid Yar

Introduction

It has been noted by numerous commentators that a significant element of contemporary popular culture has been the apparent ‘mainstreaming’ of explicit sexual imagery and discourse. An integral element within this development is the popular proliferation of imagery using the motifs of Bondage Domination Sadism and Masochism (BDSM). Fashion, advertising, music and the movies have all brought into the cultural mainstream a kind of aestheticised recoding of sex, in which the play of domination and submission take a key role. This would suggest, prima facie, that a previously marginalised and stigmatised form of sexual practice ...

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