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Examining the raunch culture thesis through young Australian women's interpretations of contradictory discourses


Bishop, EC, Examining the raunch culture thesis through young Australian women's interpretations of contradictory discourses, Journal of Youth Studies, 15, (7) pp. 821-840. ISSN 1469-9680 (2012) [Refereed Article]

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Copyright 2012 Taylor & Francis

DOI: doi:10.1080/13676261.2012.693597


According to a series of recent accounts, the sex industry is now a key facet of youth culture and sexualised imagery has infiltrated both the public imagination and the most private of practices. Unsurprisingly, there is greater concern over the implications of this new 'raunch culture' for young women, than young men. Rather than resisting, it is argued that young women are conforming en mass to soft-porn imagery and practices and in doing so, have lost touch with their own desires. To highlight some of the problems with these accounts, in this paper I draw on interview data from research into young Australian men and women's interpretations of sex and sexual risk. However, to pursue my key argument I focus only on the young women's accounts. Findings show that rather than being saturated in raunch culture, young women are exposed to multiple, often contradictory cultural discourses relating to gender and sex, which they differently incorporate, transform and sometimes reject as they construct sexual narratives. I conclude that the raunch culture literature is couched in a series of damaging generalisations which ignore youth diversity and position women as agents of their own oppression but not of their own desire.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:youth culture, sexuality, gender, femininity, raunch
Research Division:Human Society
Research Group:Sociology
Research Field:Social change
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in human society
UTAS Author:Bishop, EC (Dr Emily Bishop)
ID Code:78545
Year Published:2012
Web of Science® Times Cited:6
Deposited By:Sociology and Social Work
Deposited On:2012-07-05
Last Modified:2022-08-18
Downloads:2 View Download Statistics

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