Freedom of the Media and Intrusions of Censorship". An examination of media and
law sociological research on the influence of censorship on the popular
culture of the Federal Republic of Germany.
study, which focuses mainly on examples from the media in the Federal
Republic of Germany, examines the reasons for censorship and the structure
that such intrusions on the free speech can take.
The thesis of the art-historian
(M.A.) and sociologist (Ph.D.) Roland Seim consists of two main parts:
The first lays down the historical-theoretical framework and examines
the conditions of censorship on the basis of their legal foundations.
This preoccupation of his research includes a summary of the history of
censorship which will lead up to the position of post-war West Germany
and a description of the role and function of the main institutions which
executes censorship. The second part consists of a descriptive-empirical
analysis and highlights such intrusions into free speech by pointing to
significant examples from diverse genres as literature, film, music, art,
comic, satire and new media. The aim to restrict the publication and distribution
of material on the internet especially demonstrates the reasons and desire
of government to control its contents. The state tries to gain influence
against unwanted expressions. A lot of different forms of censorship (mainly
in Germany) will be explored.
This work contains additional
disgressions into matters of political censorship and the fascination
of banned material. Questions of how to undermine such interest into prohibited
areas are raised and the author establishes the immense difficulties of
governing bodies in judging between what can be tolerated and what is
to be banned. He also demonstrates how the boundaries of the permissible
are in a constant state of change and aims to demonstrate the different
(and often subtle) forms of governmental, religious and social censorship.
The right of free expression,
however, can clash with human dignity. The examples of child pornography
and fascistic propaganda should indicate the problematic demand for the
total abolition of censorship.
The thesis concludes with
a comparative examination of some censorship laws in various European
Countries and the United States. This international comparison demonstrates,
that the loss of a sense of humour on matters of taste, decency and hallowed
icons is not only a German phenomenon.
(We would like to thank Dr
Christina Lee MA/University
of Nottingham for her kindly translation of this text).
Seim: Zwischen Medienfreiheit und Zensureingriffen... (= Between Freedom
of the Media and Censorship...), Münster 1997 (3rd revised edition
2003); sociological PhD thesis ("magna cum laude") at the Westfälische
Wilhelms-Universität Münster (University of Münster/Westphalia)
1997; German language, with English dissertation abstract, 557 pp., 70
ill., softcover, ISBN 3-933060-00-1 (ISBN-13: 978-3-933060-00-6), EUR
30,60 (= US-$ 33,00 incl. handling and shipping postage).
We give you a 30%
library discount or send you a free copy for a book review.
More informations about the author
Further informations in English
on other books of Roland Seim
english book review of our recent book on music censorship (at freemuse.org)
to the German website of this book
of Contents (pdf)
Also see the Gfl-Journal
(German as a
This title was choosed
to the "Book of the Day"
Buch des Tages 22.06.2002
For more (German) online-reviews
please visit our Links
This book is holded by the Library
its abstract is mentioned in the Greek
National Documentation Centre (ekt.gr),
and the book is listed at PitBossAnnie
Link to an English text
of Seim on censorship, written for the "Journal of Mundane Behavior",
here to find recent cases in Germany
here some examples of music censorship in the USA (Peter Blecha)
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