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date: 23 September 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter opens with the question “Who speaks for porn?” as a way to interrogate historical discourses on pornography and to reposition academic approaches to the subject. Taking a linguistic anthropological lens to academic work on pornography, the chapter provides a close examination of the ways in which ideologies about porn are constructed, focusing in particular on the discursive circulation of the social figures central to pornography: performers, producers, and consumers. The concept of porn literacy is introduced to stress the importance of developing informed reading practices in future academic work on porn. To this end, a case study of a porn performer is offered to demonstrate how an ethnographically informed approach to semiotic processes of authentication, branding, and mediatization may lead to new understandings of the political economic structure of pornography and broaden our definitions of authenticity, desire, and subjectivity.

Keywords: pornography, subjectivity, porn literacy, authentication, branding, desire

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