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Graphik: Bulletpoint Abstracts issue 2/2018 (English)

Herbert Csef : On the Social Construction of Sexuality. Sadomasochism and »Fifty Shades of Grey« as Current Phenomena of Society

In 2012, the three-volume novel »Fifty Shades of Grey« was published, which became quickly a world bestseller with more than 150 million copies sold. Central questions of this article refer to the meaning of the enormous response to this book, and whether the huge success of the novel indicates a sexual change. With the concepts of social constructionism and sexual scripts, the social sciences offer plausible explanatory models for such changes in society. The sexuality portrayed in »Fifty Shades of Grey« contains predominantly sadomasochistic content. Until the second half of the 20th century, sadomasochism was considered to represent a perversion, and being hugely tabooed. Nowadays, sadomasochistic content is increasingly spread by pornography, films, other media and the internet. The huge success of this sadomasochistic novel could be an indicator for such a collective development.

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