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DegradationWhat the History of Obscenity Tells Us about Hate Speech$
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Kevin W. Saunders

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780814741443

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814741443.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM NYU Press SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.nyu.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of NYU Press Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in NYSO for personal use.date: 19 September 2021

(p.1) 1 Introduction

(p.1) 1 Introduction

Chapter:
(p.1) 1 Introduction
Source:
Degradation
Author(s):

Kevin W. Saunders

Publisher:
NYU Press
DOI:10.18574/nyu/9780814741443.003.0001

This book explores hate speech and what is wrong with it using the concepts of obscenity. It traces the history of how societies have accepted pornographic depictions or have rejected those depictions through lists of banned books or antiobscenity laws. It examines what bans on obscenity, or other reactions to pornography, have been all about, along with the factors that make a word or phrase acceptable or unacceptable. The first part of the book discusses the history of how societies have treated sexual images while the second part focuses on the legal test for obscenity and how it is applied to incidents of potential hate speech. It also analyzes the obscenity doctrine that finds objectionable material presented to children that might be acceptable for adults in the context of racist, sexist, and homophobic speech. In this introduction, a clarification is made regarding the nature of obscenity and how it differs from pornography.

Keywords:   obscenity, pornography, sexual images, hate speech, homophobic speech, obscenity doctrine, banned books, antiobscenity laws, racist speech, sexist speech

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