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Nudity and Framing: Classifying Art, Pornography, Information, and Ambiguity

Beth A. Eck
Sociological Forum
Vol. 16, No. 4 (Dec., 2001), pp. 603-632
Published by: Springer
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/684826
Page Count: 30
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Nudity and Framing: Classifying Art, Pornography, Information, and Ambiguity
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Abstract

Drawing on 45 interviews, this paper addresses how people interpret and make sense of nude images within popular culture. I suggest that the nude image resides comfortably in three familiar and bounded frames: art, pornography, and information. These frames clearly provide the reader with cues that aid his/her interpretation of the nude as well as his/her evaluation of the nude. A fourth frame is "under construction"; this is the commodified frame used in selling products and magazines. Older adults refuse to address the acceptability of this frame; younger adults believe it to be a bounded category close to the other three. Age distinguishes between the kinds and amounts of cultural work that people do in deciding the acceptability of the frames that contain nude images.

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