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Sexting PanicRethinking Criminalization, Privacy, and Consent$
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Amy Adele Hasinoff

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780252038983

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252038983.001.0001

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Sexualization and participation

Sexualization and participation

(p.101) Chapter 4 Sexualization and participation
Sexting Panic

Amy Adele Hasinoff

University of Illinois Press

This chapter examines the tension between the idea that participatory new media practices typically produce positive, democratic effects and the assumption that sexualization creates a problematic type of new media practice—sexting. Drawing on postcolonial feminist scholars who question the normative definitions of agency, the chapter argues why the complexities of sexting suggest that resistance and participation might be overvalued ways of interacting with mass culture. It explores the stakes of pathologizing conformity to mass culture and contends that the supposedly deficient agency of adolescent girls who create sexual photographs of themselves should not be a primary site for intervention. It also maintains that it could be useful to think about sexting as media production but at the same time challenges the notion that media participation is inherently good. Thinking about sexting as a form of media production, which has a basically positive connotation for youth, suggests the need to consider the potential benefits of sexting, such as intimacy and interpersonal communication, alongside the well-known risks.

Keywords:   new media, sexualization, sexting, resistance, participation, mass culture, conformity, agency, media production, adolescent girls

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