Professor Alan McKee is an expert on entertainment and healthy sexual development. He holds an Australian Research Council Discovery grant entitled ‘Pornography’s effects on audiences: explaining contradictory research data’; and a Wellcome Grant entitled ‘Investigating mediated sex and young people’s health and well-being’. He recently completed a Linkage grant with True (previously Family Planning Queensland) to investigate the use of vulgar comedy to reach young men with information about healthy sexual development.
He was co-editor of the Girlfriend Guide to Life and co-author of Pornography: structures agency and performance (Polity, 2015). He has published on healthy sexual development, and entertainment education for healthy sexuality in journals including the Archives of Sexual Behavior, the International Journal of Sexual Health, the Journal of Sex Research and Sex Education.
Can supervise: YES
Written for a broad audience and grounded in cutting-edge, contemporary scholarship, this volume addresses some of the key questions asked about pornography today. What is it? For whom is it produced? What sorts of sexualities does it help produce? Why should we study it, and what should be the most urgent issues when we do? What does it mean when we talk about pornography as violence? What could it mean if we discussed pornography through frameworks of consent, self-determination and performance?
This book places the arguments from conservative and radical anti-porn activists against the challenges coming from a new generation of feminist and queer porn performers and educators. Combining sensitive and detailed discussion of case studies with careful attention to the voices of those working in pornography, it provides scholars, activists and those hoping to find new ways of understanding sexuality with the first overview of the histories and futures of pornography
McKee, AA, McKee, A, Albury, K & Lumby, C 2008, The Porn Report, Melbourne University.
Pornography uniformly portrays women as passive objects of men's sexual urges. The Porn Report debunks these and many other misconceptions about porn consumers, producers and the industry at large.
McKee, A 2008, Beautiful Things in Popular Culture, John Wiley & Sons.
This is an innovative book that addresses the question of how consumers make decisions about what is good and what is bad in popular culture.
McKee, A 2004, The Public Sphere, Cambridge University Press.
In this book Alan McKee answers these questions by providing an introduction to the concept of the public sphere, the history of the term and the philosophical arguments about its function.
© Alan McKee 2005. Drawing on many examples from contemporary media culture, Alan McKee looks at how we communicate with each other in public--and how we decide whether changing forms of communication are beneficial for the –public sphere—. McKee's introduction to the concept of the public sphere, or free debate space, includes background history as well as philosophical arguments concerning its function.
McKee, A 2003, Textual Analysis, SAGE.
Textual analysis is a methodology - a way of gathering data - for researchers who are interested in the ways in which people make sense of the world.
McKee, A 2001, Australian Television, Oxford University Press, USA.
This is the first book to present a history of Australian television in which the programs themselves are the main focus of attention.
Hartley, J & McKee, A 2000, The Indigenous Public Sphere, Oxford University Press on Demand.
This book shows how journalism and the news media have covered the story of Indigenous people during a turbulent period of historical, political and cultural change.
McKee, A & Ingham, R 2018, 'Are there disciplinary differences in writing about pornography? A trialogue for two voices', Porn Studies, vol. 5, no. 1, pp. 34-43.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
© 2018 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. In 2016, Professors Alan McKee (a humanities researcher) and Roger Ingham (a psychology researcher) submitted a successful grant application for a project entitled 'Pornography's Effects on Audiences: Explaining Contradictory Research Data' (DP170100808). We were approached by Feona Attwood, who knew of the grant and asked whether we could provide a piece for this special issue that explored 'writing about porn across disciplines'. The process of writing the grant application had already provided plenty of rich data about differences in disciplinary vocabularies and the ways in which various words implied different objects of study and different relationships to objects of study. Rather than trying to hide these differences we decided to make them the focus of the article. This piece presents three voices–Alan (AM), Roger (RI) and the original grant application (GA)–in trialogue, as a tentative beginning to the exploration of some potential differences between academic disciplines in conceptualizing, researching and writing about pornography.
McKee, A, Albury, K, Burgess, J, Light, B, Osman, K & Walsh, A 2018, 'Locked down apps versus the social media ecology: Why do young people and educators disagree on the best delivery platform for digital sexual health entertainment education?', New Media and Society, vol. 20, no. 12, pp. 4571-4589.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
© 2018, The Author(s) 2018. This article reports on focus groups exploring the best way to reach young men with vulgar comedy videos that provide sexual health information. Young people reported that they found the means by which the material was presented – as a locked down app – to be problematic, and that it would better be delivered through social media platforms such as YouTube. This would make it more 'spreadable'. By contrast, adult sex education stakeholders thought the material should be contained within a locked down, stand-alone app – otherwise it might be seen by children who are too young, and/or young people might misunderstand the messages. We argue that the difference in approach represented by these two sets of opinions represents a fundamental stumbling block for attempts to reach young people with digital sexual health materials, which can be understood through the prism of different cultural forms – education versus entertainment.
Rissel, C, Richters, J, de Visser, RO, McKee, A, Yeung, A & Caruana, T 2017, 'A Profile of Pornography Users in Australia: Findings From the Second Australian Study of Health and Relationships', Journal of Sex Research, vol. 54, no. 2, pp. 227-240.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
© 2016, Routledge. All rights reserved.There are societal concerns that looking at pornography has adverse consequences among those exposed. However, looking at sexually explicit material could have educative and relationship benefits. This article identifies factors associated with looking at pornography ever or within the past 12 months for men and women in Australia, and the extent to which reporting an 'addiction' to pornography is associated with reported bad effects. Data from the Second Australian Study of Health and Relationships (ASHR2) were used: computer-assisted telephone interviews (CASIs) completed by a representative sample of 9,963 men and 10,131 women aged 16 to 69 years from all Australian states and territories, with an overall participation rate of 66%. Most men (84%) and half of the women (54%) had ever looked at pornographic material. Three-quarters of these men (76%) and more than one-third of these women (41%) had looked at pornographic material in the past year. Very few respondents reported that they were addicted to pornography (men 4%, women 1%), and of those who said they were addicted about half also reported that using pornography had had a bad effect on them. Looking at pornographic material appears to be reasonably common in Australia, with adverse effects reported by a small minority.
McKee, A 2017, 'Learning from commercial entertainment producers in order to create entertainment sex education', Sex Education: sexuality, society and learning, vol. 17, no. 1, pp. 26-40.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
The Girlfriend Guide to Life was a commercial entertainment product
co-edited by an entertainment producer and an academic researcher
to reach 14–17-year olds with information they wanted to know about
sexual health, in language, genres and designs that they wanted.
Entertainment–Education is a familiar approach to distributing
information, including information about sexual health, in non-formal
learning contexts. However, previous accounts of Entertainment–
Education have highlighted a tension between the audience-centred
approach of entertainment production and the message-centred
approach of education. Using a practice-led methodology and
drawing on reflective practice, this article suggests that if educators go
deeper than asking entertainment producers to simply make cosmetic
changes to content, and accept that entertainment producers have
a vital understanding of what target audiences need to know about
sexual health, a reciprocal working relationship can be developed that
overcomes some of the differences in habitus between entertainment
producers and educators that have been identified by previous
Much academic writing on pornography takes an exceptionalist approach, focusing on the ways it is different from other forms of culture. By contrast, this article – focusing on pornography as an industry – argues that in many ways it is similar to other forms of culture. In the production of pornography, producers make most money; 'creatives', including performers, mostly lack creative control, do not make lots of money and have short, nomadic careers; the business is facing challenges from increased digitalization; and the solutions to these challenges lie in branding, niche marketing and exploiting new technological possibilities. This perspective then allows us more clearly to see what is unusual about the pornography industry – particularly around the experience of stigma and workplace health and safety.
McKee, A, Bragg, S & Taormino, T 2015, 'Editorial introduction: entertainment media's evolving role in sex education', Sex Education, vol. 15, no. 5, pp. 451-457.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
McKee, A, Collis, C, Nitins, T, Ryan, M, Harrington, S, Duncan, B, Carter, J, Luck, E, Neale, L, Butler, D & Bachstrom, M 2014, 'Defining entertainment: an approach', Creative Industries Journal, vol. 7, no. 2.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
Entertainment is a key cultural category. Yet the definition of entertainment can differ depending upon whom one asks. This article maps out understandings of entertainment in three key areas. Within industrial discourses, entertainment is defined by a commercial business model. Within evaluative discourses used by consumers and critics, it is understood through an aesthetic system that privileges emotional engagement, story, speed and vulgarity. Within academia, entertainment has not been a key organizing concept within the humanities, despite the fact that it is one of the central categories used by producers and consumers of culture. It has been important within psychology, where entertainment is understood in a solipsistic sense as being anything that an individual finds entertaining. Synthesizing these approaches, the authors propose a cross-sectoral definition of entertainment as 'audience-centred commercial culture'.
McKee, A, Watson, AF & Dore, J 2014, ''It's all scientific to me': focus group insights into why young people do not apply safe-sex knowledge', Sex Education, vol. 14, no. 6, pp. 652-665.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
© 2014, © 2014 Taylor & Francis. Despite rising levels of safe-sex knowledge in Australia, sexually transmitted infection notifications continue to increase. A culture-centred approach suggests it is useful in attempting to reach a target population first to understand their perspective on the issues. Twenty focus groups were conducted with 89 young people between the ages of 14 and 16 years. Key findings suggest that scientific information does not articulate closely with everyday practice, that young people get the message that sex is bad and they should not be preparing for it and that it is not appropriate to talk about sex. Understanding how young people think about these issues is particularly important because the focus groups also found that young people disengage from sources of information that do not match their own experiences.
© 2014 Taylor & Francis. Porn studies researchers in the humanities have tended to use different research methods from those in social sciences. There has been surprisingly little conversation between the groups about methodology. This article presents a basic introduction to textual analysis and statistical analysis, aiming to provide for all porn studies researchers a familiarity with these two quite distinct traditions of data analysis. Comparing these two approaches, the article suggests that social science approaches are often strongly reliable-but can sacrifice validity to this end. Textual analysis is much less reliable, but has the capacity to be strongly valid. Statistical methods tend to produce a picture of human beings as groups, in terms of what they have in common, whereas humanities approaches often seek out uniqueness. Social science approaches have asked a more limited range of questions than have the humanities. The article ends with a call to mix up the kinds of research methods that are applied to various objects of study.
McKee, A & Dore, J 2014, 'Pro-Am curators of Australian television history: How is their practice different from that of professional television historians?', Australasian Journal of Popular Culture, vol. 3, no. 2, pp. 159-171.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
Eleven Pro-Am curators of Australian television history were interviewed about their practice. The data helps us to understand the relationship between professional and Pro-Am approaches to Australian television history. There is no simple binary – the lines are blurred – but there are some differences. Pro-Am curators of Australian television history are not paid for their work and present other motivations for practice – particularly being that 'weird child' who was obsessed with gathering information and objects related to television. They have freedom to curate only programmes and genres that interest them, and they tend to collect merchandise as much as programme texts themselves. And they have less interest in formally cataloguing their material than do professional curators of Australian television history.
McKee, A, Walsh, A & Watson, AF 2014, 'Using digitally distributed vulgar comedy to reach young men with information about healthy sexual development', Media International Australia, no. 153, pp. 128-137.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
The question of the relationship between culture and power continues to exercise researchers. In this commentary I argue that it is useful to consider the differences between 'art' and 'entertainment' as systems of culture, each involving a distinct set of power relationships between producers and audiences. Art wants to change audiences; entertainment wants to be changed by audiences. From these different starting points a series of differences unfold in the power possessed by producers and audiences. Artists pride themselves on not involving the audience in the process of making art. By contrast, entertainment wants audiences to contribute to the making of texts. As to the question of who controls the range forms of culture that are available, it seems that entertainment consumers - unlike art consumers - are ill-disciplined. Historical evidence demonstrates that if legal corporate providers do not offer the kinds of entertainment they want, they will turn to illegal sources. The different ways in which 'art' and 'entertainment' function as cultural systems suggest that we must rethink our positions on 'media power'. © The Author(s) 2013.
This paper explores the important role the media play in informing young people about masturbation. A pilot study of focus groups with twenty-two young Australians aged between 14 and 16 explored what they know about sex and sexuality, and where they have found that knowledge. This paper reports on their knowledge about masturbation. Although researchers agree that masturbation can be a positive part of healthy sexual development, most young people reported that they received very little positive information about it from their parents or in formal sex education in school. These young people's discussions around this topic were largely ambivalent, but also highly complex due to the varying levels and types of information that they receive. In this context the media play a vital role in providing information about masturbation through books and magazines for young women, and television comedies for young men. © 2013 Springer Science+Business Media New York.
In a critical but sympathetic reading of Habermass work (1984, 1987a, 1987b, 2003), Luke Goode (2005) recently sought to rework his theory of deliberative democracy in an age of mediated and increasingly digital public spheres. Taking a different approach, Alan McKee (2005) challenged the culture- and class-bound strictures of Habermasian rationalism, instead pursuing a more radically pluralist account of postmodern public spheres. The editors of this special section of Media, Culture & Society invited us to discuss our differing approaches to the public sphere. Goode holds that the institutional bases of contemporary public spheres (political parties, educational institutions or public media) remain of critical importance, albeit in the context of a kaleidoscopic array of unofficial and informal micro-publics, both localized and de-territorialized. In contrast, McKee sustains a `hermeneutics of suspicion toward the official, hegemonic institutions of the public sphere since they tend to exclude and delegitimize discourses and practices that challenge their polite middle-class norms.
Attwood, F, Barker, M, Bragg, S, Egan, D, Evans, A, Harvey, L, Hawkes, G, Heckert, J, Holford, N, Macvarish, J, Martin, A, McKee, A, Mowlabocus, S, Paasonen, S, Renold, E, Ringrose, J, Valentine, L, Watson, AF & van Zoonen, L 2012, 'Engaging with the Bailey Review: Blogging, academia and authenticity', Psychology and Sexuality, vol. 3, no. 1, pp. 69-94.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
This article reproduces and discusses a series of blog posts posted by academics in anticipation of the report on commercialisation, sexualisation and childhood, 'Letting Children Be Children' by Reg Bailey for the UK Department of Education in June 2011. The article discusses the difficulty of 'translating' scholarly work for the public in a context where 'impact' is increasingly important and the challenges that academics face in finding new ways of speaking about sex in public. © 2012 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.
Researchers in sexuality education have tended to focus on formal schooling. However, young people learn about sexuality from a range of sources, including entertainment media. This is particularly important because young people actively seek out entertainment media. They do so because it gives them the kinds of information they want, in ways that seem relevant to them. This is often not the case for formal schooling, for reasons that may not easily change in the near future. Possibilities exist for sexuality education researchers to form productive relationships with entertainment producers: but only if these are approached with respect for the producers particular skills, including the ability to give audiences what they want.
Silver, J & McKee, A 2012, 'The Relationship Between Entertainment Producers And Higher Education Providers', Media International Australia, vol. November, no. 145, pp. 18-28.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
Cameron, Verhoeven and Court have noted that many screen producers do not see their tertiary education as being beneficial to their careers. We hypothesise that universities traditionally have not trained students in producing skills because of the divis
Different archives of television material construct different versions of Australian national identity. There exists a Pro-Am archive of Australian television history materials consisting of many individual collections. This archive is not centrally loca
For the majority of its producers and consumers, pornography functions as entertainment rather than art. This paper draws onmyrecent work mapping out entertainment as an area of study (for the new Entertainment Industries programme at Queensland Universi
McKee, A 2011, 'YouTube versus the National Film and Sound Archive: Which Is the More Useful Resource for Historians of Australian Television?', Television & New Media, vol. 12, no. 2, pp. 154-173.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
This article compares YouTube and the National Film and Sound Archive (NFSA) as resources for television historians interested in viewing old Australian television programs. The author searched for seventeen important television programs, identified in a previous research project, to compare what was available in the two archives and how easy it was to find. The analysis focused on differences in curatorial practices of accessioning and cataloguing. NFSA is stronger in current affairs and older programs, while YouTube is stronger in game shows and lifestyle programs. YouTube is stronger than the NFSA on 'human interest' material - births, marriages, and deaths. YouTube accessioning more strongly accords with popular histories of Australian television. Both NFSA and YouTube offer complete episodes of programs, while YouTube also offers many short clips of 'moments' YouTube has more surprising pieces of rare ephemera. YouTube cataloguing is more reliable than that of the NFSA, with fewer broken links. The YouTube metadata can be searched more intuitively. The NFSA generally provides more useful reference information about production and broadcast dates.
McKee, A 2011, 'Alternative primary sources for studying Australian television history : an annotated list of online private collections', Screening the past, vol. 32, pp. 1-14.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
It is possible to write many different histories of Australian television, and these different histories draw on different primary sources. The ABC of Drama, for example, draws on the ABC Document Archives (Jacka 1991). Most of the information for Images and Industry: Television Drama Production in Australia is taken from original interviews with television production staff (Moran 1985). Ending the Affair, as well as archival work, draws on over ten years of watching Australian television current affairs (Turner 2005, xiii). Albert Morans Guide to Australian TV Series draws exhaustively on extant archives: the ABC Document Archives, material sourced through the ABC Drama department, the Australian Film Commission, the library of the Australian Film, Television and Radio School, and the Australian Film Institute (Moran 1993, xi). In fact, the histories we can write depend in part on the resourcesboth primary and secondaryto which we have access. Archiving practices affect and produce the kinds of histories that can be written (Mosely and Wheatley 2008, 153). An important part of the process of media history is identifying, and making visible to other scholars, the archival resources that are available. In many cases these are institutionally-housed and clearly delineated (see for example Roessner 2009). But other forms of archive exist.
McKee, A 2010, 'Entertainment: an interdisciplinary approach', Cultural Science, vol. 3, no. 2.
McKee, A 2010, 'Teaching entertainment at Universities', Continuum, vol. 24, no. 6, pp. 921-932.
McKee, A 2010, 'Tacit knowledge for working in television', Screen Education, pp. 72-77.
In 2008, the Australian federal Senate held an Inquiry into the Sexualisation of Children in the Contemporary Media Environment. I made a submission to this Inquiry, noting that in public debate about this topic a number of quite distinct issues, with distinct aetiologies, were collapsed together. These included: child pornography; children being targeted by any form of marketing; young people becoming sexually active; sexual abuse of children; raunch culture; protecting children from any sexualised material in the media; and body image disorders. I suggested that commentators had collapsed these issues together because the image of the helpless child is a powerful one for critics to challenge undesirable aspects of contemporary culture. The result of many different ideological viewpoints all using the same argument - that the forms of culture they didn't like were damaging children - gives the impression that there is no element of culture today that isn't (somebody claims) causing harm to children: everything is child abuse. The danger of such discourses is that they draw attention away from the real harm that is being caused to children by sexual and other forms of maltreatment - which overwhelmingly occur within families, and for reasons ignored in these debates.
Universities have not traditionally trained students to work as producers in the entertainment industries. This key entertainment role involves balancing creativity, business and legal skills in order to generate and run entertainment projects. Queenslan
McKee, A, Albury, K, Dunne, M, Grieshaber, S, Hartley, J, Lumby, C & Mathews, B 2010, 'Healthy Sexual Development: A Multidisciplinary Framework For Research', International Journal of Sexual Health, vol. 22, no. 1, pp. 1-19.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
A group of Australian researchers from a range of disciplines involved in studying children's sexual development developed a framework for researching healthy sexual development that was acceptable to all disciplines involved.
In recent debates about the regulation of technologies that deliver pornographic content, the greatest concerns have been about the increasing ease with which young people can access such material. Because of the ethical difficulties in researching this topic, little data has been available on the potential harm done to young people by exposure to pornography. This paper gathers a number of data sources that address this issue indirectlyincluding the results of our own survey of over 1000 consumers of pornographyto explore this issue. Research shows that healthy sexual development includes natural curiosity about sexuality. Retrospective studies show that accidental exposure to real-life scenes of sexuality does not harm children. Our survey shows that age of first exposure to pornography does not correlate with negative attitudes towards women. Studies with non-explicit representations of sexuality show that young people who seek out sexualised representations tend to be those with a pre-existing interest in sexuality. These studies also suggest that current generations of children are no more sexualised than previous generations, that they are not innocent about sexuality, and that a key negative effect of this knowledge is the requirement for them to feign ignorance in order to satisfy adults expectations of them. Research also suggests important differences between pre- and post-pubescent attitudes towards pornography, and that pornography is not addictive.
McKee, A 2009, 'Television's greatest hits: compiling a television studies canon', Screen Education, vol. 53, pp. 90-104.
Drawing on the textual evidence of a number of referees' reports this article maps key differences between the humanities and social sciences approaches to the study of pornography in order to facilitate better understanding and communication between the areas.
As part of an ARC Discovery project to write a history of Australian television from the point of view of audiences, I looked for Australian television fan communities. It transpired that the most productive communities exist around imported programming like the BBCs Doctor Who. This program is an Australian television institution, and I was therefore interested in finding out whether it should be included in an audience-centred history of Australian television. Research in archives of fan materials showed that the program has been made distinctively Australian through censorship and scheduling practices. There are uniquely Australian social practices built around it. Also, its very Britishness has become part of its being - in a sense- Australian. Through all of this, there is a clear awareness that this Australian institution originates somewhere else that for these fans Australia is always secondary, relying on other countries to produce its myths for it, no matter how much it might reshape them.
McKee, A & Birnie, A 2008, 'Differences between journalistic and academic accounts of child sexual abuse in Australia', Australian Journal of Communication, vol. 36, no. 2, pp. 96-110.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
This paper uses qualitative textual analysis to compare journalistic and academic accounts of child sexual abuse. There are seven main differences. Academic accounts suggest higher levels of neglect, emotional abuse, and physical abuse than sexual abuse in Australia; by contrast, journalistic accounts highlight sexual abuse. Academic accounts suggest that child sexual abuse in Australia is decreasing; journalistic accounts suggest that it is increasing. Academic accounts suggest that the majority of cases of child sexual abuse are perpetrated by family members; journalistic accounts focus on abuse by institutional figures (teachers, priests) or by strangers. Academic accounts have shown that innocent sexual playis a normal part of childhood development; journalistic accounts suggest that any sexual play is either a sign of abuse, or in itself constitutes sexual abuse. Academic accounts suggest that one of the best ways to prevent sexual abuse is for children to receive sex education; journalistic accounts suggest that children finding out about sex leads to sexual abuse. Academic accounts can gather data from the victims; journalistic accounts are excluded from doing so. Academic researchers talk to abusers in order to understand how child sexual abuse can be prevented; journalistic accounts exclude the voices of child sexual abusers.
There has been a tension in Cultural Studies between those authors who see fun as important; and those who see it as a distraction. This tension has been played out around the concepts of amusement, distraction, pleasure, celebration, playfulness and desire. I think that fun is important. As we move from Cultural Studies to Cultural Science, I want to retain a focus on fun.
McKee, A 2007, ''Saying you've been at dad's porn book is part of growing up': youth, pornography and education,', Metro, pp. 118-122.
McKee, A 2007, 'The relationship between attitudes towards women, consumption of pornography, and other demographic variables in a survey of 1023 consumers of pornography', International Journal of Sexual Health, vol. 19, no. 1, pp. 31-45.
McKee, A 2007, 'Reality Versus Authenticity: Mapping the Scaffolding Needs for Teaching Intellectual Skills for Working in Television', Journal of Learning Design, vol. 2, no. 2, pp. 43-55.
A number of elements of scaffolding are identified that contribute to the operationalization of real world video production projects as authentic learning environments in which students can learn the intellectual television production skills necessary for working in the television industry. Three key elements are identified. Firstly projects must be smaller in scale than `expressive-art video production projects, to allow for staff involvement in areas of production such as working with clients, identifying audiences and preparing a number of cuts. Secondly, before students become involved, staff must clearly identify the stakeholders from the client organisation and the university, their roles and responsibilities, deadlines, resource availability, and conflict resolution procedures. Thirdly, staff must take on some level of producing responsibility on the projects.
McKee, A 2007, 'The positive and negative effects of pornography as attributed by consumers', Australian Journal of Communication, vol. 34, no. 1, pp. 87-104.
McKee, A 2006, 'Censorship of sexually explicit Materials: What do Consumers of pornography have to say?', Media International Australia, vol. 120, pp. 35-50.
This article attempts to bring a new set of voices into public debates about censorship in Australia those of consumers of pornography. Forty-six consumers - chosen to provide the most diverse range of voices across gender, age, sexuality, income, place of residence and state/territory - were interviewed in detail. Interviewees consistently distinguished between beneficial and harmful pornography. The main issue was consent, with child pornography, bestiality and violent pornography being singled out for condemnation. The interviewees noted that public debates about pornography in Australia tend to favour conservative religious positions. All interviewees agreed that censorship was necessary; they particularly focused on the need to keep sexually explicit materials away from children. They evinced a strong distrust of politicians and bureaucrats, and mostly presented a classical liberal line. Several of the consumers had children of their own: all of these interviewees argued that their children should not see sexually explicit material and had strategies in place to ensure that their own did not.
McKee, A 2006, 'Doctor Who, popular culture and politics: an annotated interview with Paul Magrs', m/c dialogue.
McKee, A 2005, 'Teaching television at universities', Screen Education, no. 41, pp. 97-102.
McKee, A 2005, 'David E Kelley's politics of happiness in Ally McBeal', The Journal of Happiness Studies, pp. 385-411.
Using twelve measures of objectification, I measured the degree to which women are objectified in mainstream pornographic videos in Australia. Seven of the measures allowed for direct comparison of female and male objectification.
McKee, A 2005, 'The need to bring the voices of pornography consumers into public debates about the genre and its effects', Australian Journal of Communication, vol. 32, no. 2, pp. 71-94.
In public debates about the effects of pornography on individual consumers, and on society more generally, the main voices heard are those of church leaders, politicians, and opinion columnists. In these debates it is rare to hear the insights of those people who regularly consume pornography. This article analyses the major traditions of academic research into pornography and points out that academic work also systematically excludes the voices of these consumers. It argues that there is no justification for this position and describes a recent study that attempted to recognise the expertise of pornography consumers. The paper concludes with an example of how such a perspective could contribute to public debates by showing what consumers of pornography have to say about the effects of pornography on them, and on other people.
This article presents the results of a research project that investigated the vernacular political philosophy of the television programme Doctor Who. Fans were asked about their political thinking, their interpretations of the politics of that programme and the relationship between the two. The results contribute to a cultural history of the political natures of different kinds of texts. These television viewers are revealed to be well able to articulate their own political thinking and to argue cogently that Doctor Who is not useful for that thinking. The politics of this group range from self-nominated Marxist to extreme right wing, and their interpretations of the programme's politics, when asked to produce them, are similarly wide ranging. It seems that the programme does not function as vernacular political philosophy. This has implications for thinking about the 'ideology' of popular texts. © 2004, SAGE Publications. All rights reserved.
McKee, A 2003, 'Postscript', Continuum, vol. 17, no. 1, pp. 110-112.
McKee, A, Petelin, R, Turner, G, Pearson, M, Zorn, T, Greenfield, C & Weiss, E 2002, 'Editing and publishing symposium: taking submission seriously', Australian Journal of Communication, vol. 29, no. 2, pp. 103-107.
McKee, A 2002, 'Double standards in cultural judgements', Australian Screen Education, vol. 28, no. Summer 2002, pp. 46-49.
McKee, A 2002, 'What cultural studies needs in more theory', Continuum, vol. 16, no. 3, pp. 311-317.
McKee, A 2002, 'I don't want to be a citizen if it means I have to watch the ABC', Citizen's Media, Media International Australia, no. 103, pp. 14-23.
McKee, A 2002, 'An interview with Russell T Davies', Continuum, vol. 16, no. 2, pp. 235-244.
McKee, A 2001, 'The place of media in community formation for homeless youth: A case study of Gibber magazine', Australian Journal of Communication, vol. 28, no. 2, pp. 63-76.
McKee, A 2001, 'Thinking about the interpretation of popular texts', Words Worth (Journal of the English Teachers' Association of Queensland).
McKee, A 2001, 'Which is the best Doctor Who story? A case study in value judgements outside the academy', Intensities: the journal of cult media, no. 1.
McKee, A 2001, 'A beginner's guide to textual analysis', Metro, vol. 127/128, pp. 138-149.
McKee, A 2000, 'How to tell the difference between a positive image and a stereotype: reading Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, Screening the Past', an international electronic journal of visual media and history, no. 9.
McKee, A 2000, 'Speaking as an expert', Southern Review, vol. 33, no. 1, pp. 67-73.
McKee, A 2000, 'Gay men and media use', Australian Journal of Communication, vol. 27, no. 2, pp. 81-98.
McKee, A 2000, 'Love affair against the odds: Ernie Dingo and reconciliation', Australian Studies, vol. 14, no. 1-2, pp. 189-208.
McKee, A 1999, 'Accentuate the negative: race and realism in Australian film reviewing', Australian Studies in Journalism, vol. 8, pp. 139-157.
McKee, A 1999, 'Must see TV: mapping an Australian mediasphere', Metro, pp. 55-59.
McKee, A 1999, 'Reporting on Indigenous Issues: some practical suggestions for improving journalistic practice in the coverage of indigenous affairs', Australian Journalism Review, vol. 21, no. 2, pp. 103-116.
McKee, A 1999, 'Australian gay porn videos: The national identity of despised cultural objects', International Journal of Cultural Studies, vol. 2, no. 2, pp. 178-198.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Debates about the local and the global continue to be prominent in cultural studies. By taking an example of Australian gay porn videos, which in some ways are convincingly 'local', the paper suggests that previous attempts to define 'the local' - in terms either of textual features or provenance of production - are problematic. It proposes instead the idea of 'persuasiveness' as a way of accounting for 'localness' which does not rely on implications of authenticity. © 1999 SAGE Publication.
McKee, A 1999, 'Resistance is hopeless: assimilating queer theory', Social Semiotics, vol. 9, no. 2, pp. 235-250.
McKee, A 1997, 'The generic limitations of Aboriginality: horror movies as a case study', Australian Studies, vol. 12, no. 1, pp. 115-138.
McKee, A 1997, 'Penetration and power', Media International Australia, vol. 84, pp. 7-18.
McKee, A 1997, 'Marking the liminal for true blue Aussies: the generic placement of Aboriginality in Australian soap operas'', Australian Journal of Communication, vol. 24, no. 1, pp. 42-57.
This paper challenges recent fairy tales'-]simplistic and reassuring teleological narratives of moral change-which move our community from being 'lesbian and gay' to being 'queer'. Through an exploration of one particular 'lesbian and gay'-the textualised 'lesbian and gay community' constructed by community newspapers in Australia-I suggest that such attempts at distinction, in proposing a linear and teleological movement from bad to good practice, in fact essentialise and dehistoricise these terms. The 'lesbian and gay' of the papers' 'lesbian and gay community' proves in fact to exhibit many of the qualities which 'queer' theorists have claimed for the later term. Such a project of tracing the historical textual manifestations of 'lesbian and gay' problematicises the essentialism necessary in making statements in the form, 'lesbian and gay was but queer is. © 1997 Journals Oxford Ltd.
McKee, A 1996, 'Films vs Real Life', UTS Review, vol. 3, no. 1, pp. 160-182.
McKee, A 1996, 'Truth, integrity and a little gossip'', The Alternative Law Journal, vol. 21, no. 1, pp. 15-18.
McKee, A 1996, 'Do you Believe in Fairies? Creating Fictional Identities on Bent TV', Media International Australia, pp. 115-118.
McKee, A 1996, 'A Kiss is Just ...', Australian Journal of Communication, vol. 23, no. 2, pp. 51-72.
Roger Horrocks is a middle-aged heterosexual family man coming to terms with his masculinity. Of course, this fact in itself does not provide good reason for criticising his latest book, Male Myths and Icons: Masculinity in Popular Culture. One would not wish to be accused of the 'heterophobia' which the author attacks in 'gay and lesbian studies' (13). But as Andy Medhurst has argued, authorship is an issue which poststructuralist critical theory must still take seriously. There is, in his formulation, 'that special thrill' for gay readers in knowing that an author of a favourite text is homosexual (Medhurst, 1991:197). So it may be that there is a concomitantly 'special unthrill' that comes from knowing that an author is a sensitive new age guy determined to defend and reconstruct heterosexual masculinity.
McKee, A 1993, 'Intentional Phalluses: sex and science fiction in J G Ballard', Foundation: the Review of Science Fiction, pp. 58-67.
The fact that a large penis is important for giving women sexual pleasure is a dominant discourse—even though it must never be spoken—in Western cultures. And this is an interesting fact, for many reasons. It is interesting for making us think about how discourses work, and how we may know them to be dominant. It suggests that a discourse that is almost never spoken publicly may still be a dominant one. It suggests that there is at least one dominant discourse in Western culture that is in the hands of women, and that can be extremely powerful against men when used correctly. And it suggests—to me, at least—that in cultural studies we should pay more attention to the discursive resources in the cultures that surround us, and the ways in which they might be used, rather than insistently looking only to academic writing for ways to progress particular political ends.
McKee, A & Randall, R 2018, 'Becoming BDSM in an online environment' in Nixon, PG & Düsterhöft, IK (eds), Sex in the Digital Age, Routledge, Abingdon and New York, pp. 168-178.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
This chapter presents the voices of five young Bondage and Discpline, Dominance and Submission, Sadism and Masochism (BDSM) practitioners discussing the development of their identities and the role of online pornography – and other texts – in that process.
There exists a lot of research into young people and BDSM online – although little of it is frank about its object of study. It is part of a longstanding tradition of research into the relationship between young people, online pornography and violence (see e.g. Bhuller, Havnes, Leuven and Mogstad, 2013; Lam and Chan, 2007; Peter and Valkenburg, 2009; Wallmyr and Welin, 2006), for it is notable that most of this research does not distinguish between 'violent' sexual materials and consensual BDSM (McKee, 2015). Instead, much of this work deliberately confuses consensual and non-consensual sex acts, so that the majority of the material being studied under the rubric of 'violence' is in fact consensual kink and BDSM material (see e.g. Bridges, Wosnitzer, Scharrer, Sun and Liberman, 2010). Concerns about whether exposure to 'violent' pornography makes young people sexually aggressive often turn out to be concerns about whether exposure to consensual kink turns people into consensual BDSM practitioners. That is to say – as we explain in this chapter-research into young people, pornography, the Internet and violence often turns out to be – at least implicitly – work on the development of BDSM identities
© 2018 John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Studying porn consumers as fans supports useful intellectual moves for arguments in both fan studies and porn studies. A problem for fan studies is that as its object of study has expanded to include a range of behaviors beyond the most obviously positive and productive the question has arisen 'Who isn't a fan?". A problem for studies of porn studies is that dominant academic approaches to studying pornography consumption have favored models of consumers as agentless, i.e., addicts or objects of media effects. Studying porn fans addresses both these problems by returning our attention to the agency of porn consumers. Fan studies is defined as the study of agentic cultural consumption, this is neither tautological nor unimportant, but continues to provide a robust and meaningful project for academic research. With this insight in place, this chapter considers some examples of porn fandom, including collecting practices, taxonomizing, evaluation practices, and community building.
Lumby, C, Albury, K, McKee, A & Hugman, S 2018, 'Ethical issues in qualitative research addressing sensitive issues with children and young people' in Grealy, L, Driscoll, C & Hickey-Moody, A (eds), Youth, Technology, Governance, Experience Adults Understanding Young People, Routledge, Abingdon and New York, pp. 87-102.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
How do adults understand youth? How do their conceptions inform interventions into young lives or involve young people's experiences? This volume tackles these questions by exploring adults' ideas about youth.
McKee, A 2018, 'The pornography consumer as Other' in Smith, C, Attwood, F & McNair, B (eds), The Routledge Companion to Media, Sex and Sexuality, Routledge, London, pp. 383-393.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
McKee, A & Albury, K 2017, 'Sexual cultures, entertainment media and communications technology' in Allen, L & Rasmussen, ML (eds), The Palgrave Handbook of Sexuality Education, Palgrave Macmillan, London, pp. 415-421.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
McKee, A 2017, 'Why I wasn't interested in Hitchcock films until I turned 40: viewing films as entertainment' in Harrington, S (ed), Entertainment Values How do we Assess Entertainment and Why does it Matter?, Palgrave Macmillan, London, pp. 213-225.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
This book is concerned with how we decide what is good entertainment. In this chapter I offer an answer to that question in aesthetic terms. The academic discipline of Film Studies has a developed over many decades a series of methods for studying films as art. But entertainment and art are different cultural forms with different aesthetic systems (McKee, 2012). As academics we know how to judge a film's success or failure as a work of art: but how would we judge a film's success or failure – its value - as a piece of entertainment?
This question holds a particular place in my heart, and the example of Alfred Hitchcock helps to explain why. I somehow managed to miss Hitchcock's films growing up. Born in 1970 I was too late to see his films in the cinema. I'm not sure how I managed to miss them on the television, but my first significant exposure to his work came when I went to the University of Glasgow to study Film and Television. In the course of these studies I was introduced to the work of Alfred Hitchcock, the artist. John Caughie was one of my lecturers, and we studied his germinal reader Theories of Authorship (Caughie, 1981b). This provided my introduction to the cinema d'auteurs and its theory of the value of cinema:
Auteurism shares certain basic assumptions: notably, that a film, although produced collectively, is most likely to be valuable when the director dominates the proceedings; that in the presence of a director who is genuinely an artist, a film is more than likely to be the expression of his [sic] individual personality; and that this personality can be traced in a thematic and/or stylistic consistency over all (or almost all) the director's films (Caughie, 1981a, p. 9)
McKee, A, McNair, B & Watson, AF 2015, 'Sex and the virtual suburbs: the pornosphere and community standards' in Maginn, PJ & Steinmetz, C (eds), (Sub)Urban Sexscapes: Geographies and Regulation of the Sex Industry, Routledge, London, pp. 159-174.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
McKee, A 2014, 'Textual analysis' in Cunningham, S (ed), Media and Communications in Australia, Allen & Unwin, St Leonards, NSW, pp. 62-71.
McKee, A. 2013, 'Why are children the most important audience for pornography in Australia?' in Watching Films: New Perspectives on Movie-Going, Exhibition and Reception, pp. 87-100.
McKee, A 2013, 'Why are children the most important audience for pornography in Australia?' in Aveyard, K & Moran, A (eds), Watching Films: New Perspectives on Movie-Going, Exhibition and Reception, Intellect Books, Bristol, UK, pp. 87-100.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
McKee, A 2012, 'The aesthetic system of entertainment' in McKee, A, Collis, C & Hamley, B (eds), Entertainment Industries: Entertainment as a Cultural System, Routledge, Abingdon, Oxon, pp. 9-20.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
Entertainment Industries is the first book to map entertainment as a cultural system. Including work from world-renowned analysts such as Henry Jenkins and Jonathan Gray, this innovative collection explains what entertainment is and how it works.
Entertainment is audience-centred culture. The Entertainment Industries are a uniquely interdisciplinary collection of evolving businesses that openly monitor evolving cultural trends and work within them. The producers of entertainment – central to that practice– are the new artists. They understand audiences and combine creative, business and legal skills in order to produce cultural products that cater to them.
Entertainment Industries describes the characteristics of entertainment, the systems that produce it, and the role of producers and audiences in its development, as well as explaining the importance of this area of study, and how it might be better integrated into Universities
McKee, A & Keating, C 2012, ''They're My Two Favourites' versus 'the Bigger Scheme of Things': Pro-Am Historians Remember Australian Television' in Darian-Smith, K & Turnbull, S (eds), Remembering Television: Histories, Technologies, Memories, Cambridge Scholars Publishing, Australia, pp. 52-71.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
McKee, A, Collis, C & Hamley, B 2011, 'Entertainment Industries at University: Designing a Curriculum' in Entertainment Industries Entertainment as a Cultural System, Routledge, UK, pp. 123-134.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
Entertainment Industries is the first book to map entertainment as a cultural system.
McKee, A 2009, 'White stories, Black magic: Australian Horror Films of the Aboriginal' in Sarwal, A & Sarwal, R (eds), Creative Nation: Australian Cinema and Cultural Studies Reader, New Delhi: SSS Publications, pp. 136-153.
McKee, A 2008, 'The best Doctor Who story' in Time and Relative Dissertations in Space: Critical Perspectives on Doctor Who, Manchester University Press, pp. 233-245.
McKee, A 2007, 'Introduction' in Beautiful Things in Popular Culture, Blackwell Publishing.
McKee, A 2007, 'Conclusion' in Beautiful Things in Popular Culture, Blackwell Publishing.
McKee, A 2007, 'Theory fans' in Gray, J, Sandvoss, C & Lee Harrington, C (eds), Fandom: identities and communities in a mediated world, New York University Press, pp. 88-97.
McKee, A 2007, 'The fans of cultural theory' in Fandom: Identities and Communities in a Mediated World, pp. 88-97.
McKee, A 2004, 'How to tell the difference between production and consumption: a case study in Doctor Who fandom' in Gwenllian-Jones, S & Pearson, R (eds), Cult Television, The University of Minnesota Press, pp. 167-186.
McKee, A 2004, 'Pornography and sexuality online: implications for internet censorship policy' in Virtual Nation: the Internet in Australia, University of New South Wales Press, Sydney Australia, pp. 102-115.
McKee, A 2004, 'Who gets to be an intellectual?' in Carter, D (ed), The Ideas Market: an alternative take on Australia's intellectual life, Melbourne University Press, pp. 97-114.
McKee, A 2003, 'A cultural policy argument for Federal Government subsidies for the production of gay pornographic videos in Australia' in Atkinson, K & Richards, J (eds), The Body, Queer and Politic, Gay and Lesbian Welfare Association Inc, pp. 119-138.
McKee, A 2002, 'What is television for?' in Jancovich, M & Lyons, J (eds), Popular Quality Television, BFI Publishing, pp. 181-198.
McKee, A 2002, 'Fandom' in Television Studies, BFI Publishing, London, pp. 66-69.
McKee, A 2002, 'Textual Analysis' in The Media and Communications in Australia, Allen & Unwin, pp. 62-71.
McKee, A 2001, 'Ernie Dingo: Reconciliation (a love story forged against the odds)' in Australian Cinema in the 1900s, Frank Cass, London, pp. 189-208.
McKee, A 2000, 'Prime time drama: 77 Sunset Strip to Seachange' in Turner, G & Cunningham, S (eds), The Australian TV Book, Allen and Unwin, Sydney Australia.
McKee, A 1999, 'Suck on that mate: Australian Gay Porn Videos' in Twin Peeks: Australian and New Zealand Feature Films, Damned Publishing, Melbourne, pp. 119-128.
McKee, A 1997, 'The Lack of Racism in Contemporary Australia' in Gray, G & Winter, C (eds), The Resurgence of Racism: Hanson, Howard and the Race Debate, Monash Publications in History, Monash, pp. 139-148.
McKee, A 1997, 'White stories/Black Magic: Australian Horror Films of the Aboriginal' in Aratjara Aboriginal Culture and Literature in Australia, Rodopi, pp. 193-210.
These various essays treat the struggle of Aboriginal peoples for land rights, their music, and their achievements in theatre, in literature and in the creation of Aboriginal literary discourses, as well as Aboriginal film and television ...
McKee, A 1993, 'Select Bibliography on Australian Popular Culture' in Australian Popular Culture, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp. 193-210.