'Treating it as a normal business': researching the pornography industry

Georgina Voss

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article examines the lack of research on the pornography industry and the means of addressing this situation. Much contemporary pornography research invokes the apparent economic prowess of the pornography industry as justification for its work, yet focuses on the product and its reception rather than on the industry that produces it. In this article I identify and discuss the specific institutional challenges around studying pornography within business studies, and also the opportunities that arose through this work. The research methods used in this study of the North American pornography industry are presented and discussed, together with considerations around access, authentication, and stigma. I challenge the dependence by current scholars on secondary data about the industry by offering theoretical frameworks and methodological approaches with which to gather rich empirical material, thus furthering the wider field of pornography research.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)391-410
Number of pages20
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jun 2012


  • Adult entertainment
  • business studies
  • ethnography
  • research methods
  • pornography


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