Volume 7, Issue 1
  • ISSN 2211-3770
  • E-ISSN: 2211-3789
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The trilogy is often associated with BDSM, yet practitioners of BDSM typically disavow the trilogy. Previous research highlights how mechanics of BDSM such as agency and consent are misrepresented in the trilogy; this study highlights differences in . Drawing on ethnographic fieldwork among BDSM practitioners in Berlin, Germany, this paper considers reception beyond reading as evidence of BDSM’s affective phenomenology. The paper combines an Ortner-inspired “cultural ethnography through discourse” with close reading: it compares discourse and affect observed in the field with that in the novels, and suggests that the portrayal of BDSM in the novels and portrayals of the novels as representations of BDSM misinterpret the affective phenomenology of BDSM. Through attention to language, this study shows how affect and situated discourse become mutually constitutive in shaping the legibility of phenomenological experience, suggesting that playful reterritorializations of semiotic forms can counter mimetic perpetuations of symbolic violence.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): affect , BDSM , Berlin , discourse , Fifty Shades of Grey , mimesis , phenomenology and semiotics
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