Fifty Shades and Popular Culture

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About the Book

Many fans loved Fifty Shades of Grey. Many others loved to hate it. E.L. James’ trilogy of novels, and the film based on them, created a popular culture sensation, revealing much about a society that is both preoccupied with and scandalized by BDSM eroticism. Some critics argued that the franchise glorified kinky sex and normalized sexual abuse. Others praised it for illuminating consensual sexual practices that have long been marginalized in mainstream media. Yet behind their erotic content, James’ novels explored not only everyday failures to identify questionable behaviors in romantic relationships, but also society’s obsession with wealth. They also speak to the value and meaning of fan fiction, parodies, merchandizing and product placement.

About the Author(s)

Yuya Kiuchi is an assistant professor in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies at Michigan State University. His research interests include popular culture, youth culture, African American Studies, technology, and sexuality.

Bibliographic Details

Yuya Kiuchi
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 212
Bibliographic Info: bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2017
pISBN: 978-1-4766-6317-3
eISBN: 978-1-4766-2839-4
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments v
Introduction 1
One. From Twilight to Master of the Universe to Fifty Shades: Fan Fiction, Ownership and Agency 17
Two. Is Fifty Shades Romance or Porn? Defining a Popular Cultural Text 32
Three. My Mom Is Reading It? Visibility, Technology and Presentist Assumptions 54
Four. Ambivalent about Sex: Faith, First Amendment and Censorship 68
Five. Not for Anastasia’s Pleasure: The Trilogy’s Failure to Liberate Sexualities 84
Six. Masking the Real Problems: Moral Panic and Fifty Shades–Inspired Crimes 98
Seven. Extending the World of the Novel: Fan Fiction, Book Clubs, Parodies and Beyond 108
Eight. “Slap Me Like You Do”: The Movie Soundtrack and Score 125
Nine. Connected in the World of Fifty Shades: Film Adaptation, Merchandizing, Spinoffs and Beyond 139
Ten. Christian Grey as an Aspirational Brand: Signs of Wealth and Materialism 154
Eleven. The International Reception: Japan 170
Bibliography 185
Index 201