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Punishment in Popular Culture$
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Charles J. Jr. Ogletree and Austin Sarat

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9781479861958

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9781479861958.001.0001

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The Pleasures of Punishment

The Pleasures of Punishment

Complicity, Spectatorship, and Abu Ghraib

(p.236) 7 The Pleasures of Punishment
Punishment in Popular Culture

Amy Adler

NYU Press

Amy Adler uses Freudian theory to examine the reception of images of torture associated with American handling of Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib. While the Supreme Court has come to insist on a radical distinction between representations of sex, on the one hand, and of violence, on the other, as a matter of constitutional law, according to Adler, never have the two been more deeply intertwined not just in popular entertainment, but also in certain practices of punishment. Adler adopts the phrase “torture porn” in exploring not only representations of torture and humiliation in popular culture, but also the ways in which popular culture has shaped practices of punishment.

Keywords:   Freudian theory, torture porn, popular culture, sex, violence, constitutional law, Abu Ghraib, racial distinctions

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