Sex and death in modern America : media as a haven for taboo transgression
Lovato , Kristyn
Master of Arts
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This study examines popular media representations of sex and death, using examples from television, film and the internet, and frames them using Bakhtin's [Mikhail Bakhtin] theory of carnivalization and Foltyn's [Jacque L. Foltyn] theory of corpse pornography. The goal is to show that taboos surrounding sexualized death still exist in contemporary society and are reinforced by popular media. It is argued that taboos continue to play a role in contemporary society and that popular media plays on its trademark illusory qualities to allow taboos to be broken in a safe venue, throwing into relief by contrast the consequences of transgression outside that space. This work increases the complexity of the understanding of how media work to reinforce social norms in contemporary society.