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Obscenity versus objectification: a feminist reading of Leveson and its aftermath

Toms, K. (2021). Obscenity versus objectification: a feminist reading of Leveson and its aftermath. (Unpublished Doctoral thesis, City, University of London)

Abstract

This thesis provides the first significant study of the Leveson Inquiry hearings where feminist activists gave evidence about media sexism and sexualised imagery and the then editor of The Sun, Dominic Mohan was recalled to defend the Page 3 feature. Identifying and analysing three key discourses – moral, liberal and feminist – at the Leveson Inquiry, this thesis contextualises and theorises debates about media sexism on the cusp of both a resurgent feminism and renewed misogyny. This is a qualitative, mixed methods, feminist thematic analysis which examines a range of textual sources including transcripts and written evidence from the Leveson Inquiry, as well as interviews gathered for the purposes of this research with key feminist campaigners. This thesis contributes to understandings about how power operates and is sustained through the media and judiciary and how media portrayals of women are defined and debated. It is argued that these hearings at the Leveson Inquiry were a significant moment on the public record with implications for tabloid newspapers, press regulation and feminist campaigning. An extensive repertoire of sexist justifications, defences and argumentations is identified at the Leveson Inquiry, alongside feminist strategies of resistance in this hostile postfeminist context. A triple entanglement of moral, liberal and neoliberal male rights argumentations is identified, which, it is argued, acts to silence an emergent feminist human rights discourse.

Publication Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General)
Departments: Doctoral Theses > School of Arts and Social Sciences Doctoral Theses
School of Arts & Social Sciences > Journalism
School of Arts & Social Sciences > Sociology
Date available in CRO: 09 Jul 2021 10:58
Date deposited: 9 July 2021
URI: https://openaccess.city.ac.uk/id/eprint/26408
[img] Text - Accepted Version
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