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Article: Constructing the Meaning of Obscenity: An Empirical Investigation and an Experientialist Account

TitleConstructing the Meaning of Obscenity: An Empirical Investigation and an Experientialist Account
Authors
KeywordsCognitive linguistics
Conceptual categorization
Context dependence
Experientialism
Meaning
Obscenity
Issue Date2012
PublisherSpringer Verlag Dordrecht. The Journal's web site is located at http://springerlink.metapress.com/openurl.asp?genre=journal&issn=0952-8059
Citation
International Journal For The Semiotics Of Law, 2012, v. 25 n. 3, p. 415-430 How to Cite?
AbstractThis paper takes a bottom-up approach to empirically investigate how people construct the meaning of obscenity, and offers an experientialist, cognitive linguistic account to explain why the term appears to defy definition and makes a problematic legal concept. To study the contextual dependence of the term, we examined the extent to which various item characteristics (such as genre, context, and the race or celebrity status of the people portrayed) and individual variables (such as gender, religion, sexual orientation and previous personal and cultural experiences) influence our perception of seemingly obscene materials. We report correlations that have not been previously shown. The data support the thesis that the meaning of obscenity emerges in a cognitive-affective response that arises during a dynamic process of interpretation, and thus allows for extralegal factors to influence judgment. The results challenge the assumption that obscenity is a symbolic representation of objectively existing reality and argue that community standard of obscenity is a legal fiction. © 2011 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.
Persistent Identifierhttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/156013
ISSN
2015 SCImago Journal Rankings: 0.143
References

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.authorLeung, JHCen_HK
dc.contributor.authorWan, Men_HK
dc.date.accessioned2012-08-08T08:39:29Z-
dc.date.available2012-08-08T08:39:29Z-
dc.date.issued2012en_HK
dc.identifier.citationInternational Journal For The Semiotics Of Law, 2012, v. 25 n. 3, p. 415-430en_HK
dc.identifier.issn0952-8059en_HK
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/156013-
dc.description.abstractThis paper takes a bottom-up approach to empirically investigate how people construct the meaning of obscenity, and offers an experientialist, cognitive linguistic account to explain why the term appears to defy definition and makes a problematic legal concept. To study the contextual dependence of the term, we examined the extent to which various item characteristics (such as genre, context, and the race or celebrity status of the people portrayed) and individual variables (such as gender, religion, sexual orientation and previous personal and cultural experiences) influence our perception of seemingly obscene materials. We report correlations that have not been previously shown. The data support the thesis that the meaning of obscenity emerges in a cognitive-affective response that arises during a dynamic process of interpretation, and thus allows for extralegal factors to influence judgment. The results challenge the assumption that obscenity is a symbolic representation of objectively existing reality and argue that community standard of obscenity is a legal fiction. © 2011 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.en_HK
dc.languageengen_US
dc.publisherSpringer Verlag Dordrecht. The Journal's web site is located at http://springerlink.metapress.com/openurl.asp?genre=journal&issn=0952-8059en_HK
dc.relation.ispartofInternational Journal for the Semiotics of Lawen_HK
dc.subjectCognitive linguisticsen_HK
dc.subjectConceptual categorizationen_HK
dc.subjectContext dependenceen_HK
dc.subjectExperientialismen_HK
dc.subjectMeaningen_HK
dc.subjectObscenityen_HK
dc.titleConstructing the Meaning of Obscenity: An Empirical Investigation and an Experientialist Accounten_HK
dc.typeArticleen_HK
dc.identifier.emailLeung, JHC: hiuchi@hku.hken_HK
dc.identifier.emailWan, M: mwan@hkucc.hku.hken_HK
dc.identifier.authorityLeung, JHC=rp01168en_HK
dc.identifier.authorityWan, M=rp01272en_HK
dc.description.naturelink_to_subscribed_fulltexten_US
dc.identifier.doi10.1007/s11196-011-9251-8en_HK
dc.identifier.scopuseid_2-s2.0-84865560585en_HK
dc.identifier.hkuros198608-
dc.relation.referenceshttp://www.scopus.com/mlt/select.url?eid=2-s2.0-84865560585&selection=ref&src=s&origin=recordpageen_HK
dc.identifier.volume25en_HK
dc.identifier.issue3en_HK
dc.identifier.spage415en_HK
dc.identifier.epage430en_HK
dc.identifier.eissn1572-8722-
dc.publisher.placeNetherlandsen_HK
dc.identifier.scopusauthoridLeung, JHC=55108135000en_HK
dc.identifier.scopusauthoridWan, M=53664948900en_HK
dc.identifier.citeulike10076279-

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