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Oedipus Wrecked? The Moral Boundaries of Incest

Nancy L. Fischer
Gender and Society
Vol. 17, No. 1 (Feb., 2003), pp. 92-110
Published by: Sage Publications, Inc.
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3081816
Page Count: 19
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Oedipus Wrecked? The Moral Boundaries of Incest
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Abstract

This article describes the meaning of incest in contemporary popular culture. The author explores how feminism and changes in systems of kinship and sexuality have affected present-day discourse on incest, comparing the significance of blood relations and notions of abuse in constructing incest. The author analyzes media commentaries on two contemporary incestuous events that generated publicity: Kathryn Harrison's memoir of a sexual affair with her biological father and Woody Allen's relationship with Soon-Yi Previn. The author explores how commentators framed incest as morally objectionable in reaction to these two cases. She argues that blood ties are prevalent, but are becoming less relevant to discussions of incest in popular culture, and that feminist constructions of incest as an exploitation of power relations have been powerful enough for individuals to apply this framework even when adults (rather than children) are involved.

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