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Pornocopia: Porn, Sex, Technology and Desire [Tapa blanda]

Laurence O'Toole


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Tapa blanda, 14 de octubre de 1999 --  
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In "Pornocopia", Laurence O'Toole finds the expansion of the new technologies of video, cable and the internet is allowing porn to emerge from the shadows as an acceptable form of popular entertainment - out of the red light district and into the sitting room. This new edition considers the increasing sexualization of mainstream culture and contrasts the growing acceptability of porn in the USA with the censorious New Labour era in Britain. Including numerous interviews with porn figures like Paul Thomas, John "Buttman" Stagliano, Juli Ashton, and Chasey Lain, porn activists and the police, "Pornocopia" also considers the role of the porn viewer, including cyberlovers sharing their intimate porn moments with the reader.

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Opiniones de clientes más útiles en Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.5 de un máximo de 5 estrellas  8 opiniones
22 de 22 personas piensan que la opinión es útil
3.0 de un máximo de 5 estrellas (actually 3 and a half stars) 26 de julio de 2000
Por J. C. Nash - Publicado en Amazon.com
Formato:Tapa blanda
there is a lot i like about pornocopia -- for one thing, there aren't many books that examine the relationship between porn, sex, technology, and desire. o'toole's book definitely occupies a unique niche in the pornography book genre. i also really appreciated o'toole's use of narratives and the voices of sex workers and porn viewers. too many theorists, writers, and academics have written about porn without talking to either sex workers or porn viewers. finally, o'toole's voice is witty and entertaining and it makes pornocopia a fast read.
however, there's something odd about this book ... it's tone constantly moves between being an academic text (there are thorough footnotes and o'toole references many well-known texts about pornography) and being exceedingly casual. it's hard to know exactly where o'toole is coming from. also, a lot of the ground he covers in this book is covered better by other writers. he spends a lot of time discussing the history of pornography -- linda williams does this brilliantly in her book hard core: power, pleasure, and the frenzy of the visible. (he does cite her a lot). what's unique about o'toole's work, his examiniation of the way technology has shaped and impacted the porn industry, doesn't come until the end of the book.
i think this is an interesting book which provides some unique theorizing about porn -- but, i think if you're going to read one book about pornography, this shouldn't be it.
19 de 21 personas piensan que la opinión es útil
2.0 de un máximo de 5 estrellas What is this book trying to be? 18 de mayo de 2000
Por John B. Maggiore - Publicado en Amazon.com
Formato:Tapa blanda
What is a book titled "Pornocopia" about? The worditself means nothing, except it hints that the book is aboutpornography in abundance and variety..." All this is true about "Pornocopia," but the subtitle, "Porn, sex, technology and desire" is misleading..." I can imagine a book about porn without "sex" and "desire," but the inclusion of those words seems more to confirm that yes, we're talking about the regular usage of the term "porn" and not some non-sexual metaphor. But "technology" is the twist. The book must be about the nexus between porn and technology. Don't be fooled by the cover. It isn't.
Laurence O'Toole is an unabashed porn consumer advocate. His goal, with "Pornocopia," is finally articulated in the closing words of the book: "Legal change is unlikely to come about...without a continued and far greater shift within the mainstream towards a brighter, more informed view on porn. Hopefully this book can feature as part of this cultural change" (p. 350). The "legal change" O'Toole seeks is an easing of restrictions on porn, especially in the United Kingdom...O'Toole imagines a world where reliable "mainstream" publications review porn so consumers can make better choices, where the law comes down on the side of the porn consumer rather than the anti-porn activists, and where the content of porn is debated for its potential to arouse rather than its moral implications...In trying to change culture, his enthusiasm damages his credibility. We get the point early on that he likes porn and doesn't think much of the arguments of porn's critics. He dismisses the traditional objections with this statement: "it is possible to expose the moraltarians' ideological position as unacceptable to most people...their doctrine is refutable if you decide that you don't want to live in a theocratic state..." (p. 26). That's about it for the "moraltarian" view (although he later addresses laws conceived of by such under-explored views). Instead of the addressing the traditionalist objections, O'Toole promises to focus on the objections of some feminists such as Andrea Dworkin and Catherine MacKinnon...O'Toole starts to with vigor, but then he trails off into a brief history of the porn industry...
The history is one of the strongest sections of the book. Here, basically factual information is conveyed in a linear narrative. The logical next chapter would have been about the state of the industry today, but instead O'Toole veers off again, this time with a chapter that gripes about the lack of an industry in Britain...O'Toole jumps between only two countries, the U.S. and the U.K. The U.S. story is interesting, the U.K. story is not. I'd imagine that even a British reader would share this opinion, because this is essentially the author's point. The problem is that too much time and attention is spent proving how boring porn in the U.K. is...
But the weakest chapter of "Pornocopia" is the one that actually is devoted to technology. Up until "The perils of cyberspace," O'Toole's approach was basically to argue that "it's not as bad as you think."...But by the time O'Toole gets to "cyberporn was not so `pervasive' or `ubiquitous' after all," (p. 248) everything that came before seems suspect...There is a lot of porn on line, and it is almost impossible to miss it. That fact does not imply the rightness or wrongness of the state of affairs, but any argument based on the opposite premise is very weak.
O'Toole's writing only gets weaker as the book draws to a close. What exactly he's trying to do is very unclear...The resulting "Vox"- lite is worse than you're imagining and what it is doing in the book is anyone's guess.
"Pornocopia" manages to make an inherently interesting topic very dull...O'Toole's position is not untenable. Far from it. He simply over-reaches, lets his enthusiasm get the better of his argument, and covers too many angles with too little depth.
13 de 14 personas piensan que la opinión es útil
4.0 de un máximo de 5 estrellas Interesting, but one-sided, foray into the porn world 11 de enero de 1999
Por gregory_romero@bigfoot.com - Publicado en Amazon.com
Formato:Tapa blanda
While I will claim this book an important step towards demystifying the misinformed and injurious attitudes towards the "adult entertainment" industry, I say it with some reservation. O'Toole is very thorough (and amazingly convincing) in his examination and rebuttal of many of the unfair accusations against pornography. However, O'Toole's careful omissions of many of the tragic events in the porn world forced me to be a bit skeptical about his reportage. Nonetheless, I think this is an important text and a good read. O'Toole's defense is refreshing and, many times, enlightening, although I think his arguments are weakened by his unflinching one-sidedness (he asserts that "snuff" films don't exist and adult films aren't "obsence", yet he fails to report on "Bizarro-Sleaze" films of Robert Black and Gregory Dark--see "Neither Adult Nor Entertainment" by Willem R. Degroot and Matt Rundlet in Premiere, Sept. 1998). To conclude, I would suggest this text to anyone interested by the adult industries, but would suggest that the reader not be so credulous to accept all that O'Toole says without first checking up on his claims. In other words, O'Toole's Pornocopia would be a better work if he would have presented EVERYTHING and allowed the reader to come to his own conclusions about the porn-world. By leaving things out, it appears that O'Toole isn't confident that his championing of porn will be accepted and, subsequently an important trust can't be forged.
7 de 8 personas piensan que la opinión es útil
5.0 de un máximo de 5 estrellas Amazing! 14 de noviembre de 1998
Por Tony - Publicado en Amazon.com
Formato:Tapa blanda
This book is not one sided. It looks at porn in a way that not many people care to---it looks at it from the inside (the industry and its stars---and the fact that O'Toole didn't go into Savannah's death in all it's gory detail is because that's not what the book is about! There are plenty of other places one can go to find out the dirty side of anything---the porn industy included) , the outside (how people...real people actually use porn, from a U.K. perspective (where censorship is rampant), etc. And all the while it is very even-handed and witty.
The book doesn't assume that all porn users are perverts, nor does O'Toole look down his nose at porn. He considers all sides and presents it. He doesn't make judgements for the reader. He's giving them the benefit of the doubt for having a brain and making their own decisions. Bravo!!!
3.0 de un máximo de 5 estrellas Some Good Info, But a Little Too Dry 23 de junio de 2008
Por Rod Rambush - Publicado en Amazon.com
Formato:Tapa blanda
Books on pornography are often salacious and amateurish. The flip side is that, if a writer wants to be taken seriously, he or she often overcompensates by being a bit dry. Thus is the issue with PORNOCOPIA by British writer Laurence O'Toole.

The book provides you with some good information on the world of smut, including the history of porn, legal constrictions, and how it is intersecting with technology. There is a good deal here that is original and thought provoking.

Yet PORNOCOPIA is just a tad too dry to merit a higher rating. No, I do not want the salaciousness (well, I do, but not here). But even a more academic book should have a readable tone. PORNOCOPIA barely manages that, and it is what keeps an ok book on the subject from being a better one.
Ir a Amazon.com para ver las 8 opiniones existentes 3.5 de un máximo de 5 estrellas

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