Sadomasochism, Popular Culture and Revolt: A Pornography of Violence, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Sadomasochism, Popular Culture and Revolt

A Pornography of Violence, 1st Edition

By Tom Pollard


142 pages

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Sadomasochism, Popular Culture and Revolt: A Pornography of Violence explores powerful connections between violent pornography and current gender wars, generational conflicts, political struggles, and racial and ethnic unrest. Long before these conflicts dominated headlines worldwide, they become embedded and contextualized in popular culture.

Tracing the history of today’s popular porn genres, including torture porn, revenge porn, war porn, and fascist porn, Tom Pollard reveals a "sadomasochistic trope" of fictional and real sexual violence and sexual justice that had largely remained hidden and suppressed. Today it has exploded into public awareness by mass movements like #MeToo demanding justice for sexual assault victims. This movement joins other recent social movements, including Black Lives Matter and advocates of safety from gun violence, which, along with #MeToo, constitute a "revolt of submissives" no longer willing to endure unwanted violence.

This thoughtful examination of the history and content of violent pornography reveals portentous patterns and developing trends. By examining pornography’s violent content, Pollard forces us to confront wider social and cultural violence. Sadomasochism, Popular Culture and Revolt will be of great interest to scholars of gay and lesbian studies and queer studies, while being a vital text for undergraduate and graduate instructors of social movement studies in sociology, political science, American Studies, and history.

Table of Contents


1. Sex and Violence

2. Pornography Defined

3. Revenge

4. Torture

5. War

6. Fascism

7. Sadomasochistic Society and the Submissive Revolt

About the Author

Tom Pollard is Professor of Social Sciences at National University in San Jose and a documentary filmmaker whose work has appeared on BBC, the Discovery Channel, the Life Network, Canadian Broadcasting System, and various PBS channels. Tom has authored several books and articles about popular culture.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Freedom & Security / International Security
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Disasters & Disaster Relief