Deconstructing myths: the social construction of “Sadomasochism” versus “subjugated knowledges” of practitioners of consensual “SM”

Beckmann, Andrea (2001) Deconstructing myths: the social construction of “Sadomasochism” versus “subjugated knowledges” of practitioners of consensual “SM”. Journal of Criminal Justice and Popular Culture, 8 (2). pp. 66-95. ISSN 1070-8286

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Deconstructing myths: the social construction of “Sadomasochism” versus “subjugated knowledges” of practitioners of consensual “SM”
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Abstract

The following paper is based on a critical criminological,
methodologically mainly qualitative, social research
project that I conducted during 1996 and 1997 in
London's "Scene" of consensual "SM." During this time I
conducted unstructured, focused interviews as well as
participant observations within Scene-clubs that aimed at
exploring the "lived realities" of consensual "SM" and its
"subjugated knowledges." The paper contrasts the major
elements of the social construction of "Sadomasochism"
that medicalize and pathologize practitioners of this
consensual "bodily practice" with some of the findings of
my empirical research within the "Scene" that developed
around consensual "SM" in London. More specifically,
the paper explores images, representations, and accounts
of "kinky sex" within popular culture as well as the
various motivations for engaging in consensual "SM"
that were mentioned by my informants and suggests that
the motivations are not pathological or peculiar but
rather part of contemporary society’s "subterranean
values." The paper thus deconstructs the social
construction of "Sadomasochism" and opposes the
selective criminalization of consensual "SM" practice.

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:The following paper is based on a critical criminological, methodologically mainly qualitative, social research project that I conducted during 1996 and 1997 in London's "Scene" of consensual "SM." During this time I conducted unstructured, focused interviews as well as participant observations within Scene-clubs that aimed at exploring the "lived realities" of consensual "SM" and its "subjugated knowledges." The paper contrasts the major elements of the social construction of "Sadomasochism" that medicalize and pathologize practitioners of this consensual "bodily practice" with some of the findings of my empirical research within the "Scene" that developed around consensual "SM" in London. More specifically, the paper explores images, representations, and accounts of "kinky sex" within popular culture as well as the various motivations for engaging in consensual "SM" that were mentioned by my informants and suggests that the motivations are not pathological or peculiar but rather part of contemporary society’s "subterranean values." The paper thus deconstructs the social construction of "Sadomasochism" and opposes the selective criminalization of consensual "SM" practice.
Keywords:Sexuality, Consensual sadomasochism, Sexual behaviour
Subjects:L Social studies > L610 Social and Cultural Anthropology
Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Social & Political Sciences
ID Code:770
Deposited By: Bev Jones
Deposited On:10 Sep 2007
Last Modified:11 Aug 2014 17:13

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