Zwischen Medienfreiheit und Zensureingriffen

"AB 18"

"AB 18" Bd.2

Liebes-beziehungen - Lebensentwürfe

Heavy Metal

Gesundheits-erleben von Frauen

Individuelle Solidar-Kreise

Begehren, was man verachtet

"Deutsche Hörer!"

Strategien für die Chancengleichheit

Science and a Sense of Hope


"Nur für Erwachsene"

Altersfreigabe von

Halbstark und cool

Erotische Beziehungen

Wirklichkeit als literarisches Problem

"Mein Milieu meisterte mich nicht"


Verlieben, Lieben, Entlieben heute

schaftl. Theorien

Der andere und der bessere Deutsche

On the Road

Straight Edge

Tabubrüche in der Musik

"The Sun Ain't Gonna Shine Anymore"

Don Quijote im unsichtbaren Kino


"Lieber einen Knick in der Biographie..."






Vom Erwachsenenverbot
zur Jugendfreigabe


100 Jahre deutscher Schlager

Styles - HipHop

Seichtigkeit des Seins

Das Ende des Pop

Geburtstagskuchen von Prince

Roland Seim

"Between 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.

This 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).

Roland 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).

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More informations about the author

Further informations in English on other books of Roland Seim

An english book review of our recent book on music censorship (at

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Telos Verlag - Roland Seim - Zwischen Medienfreiheit und Zensureingriffen


Table of Contents (pdf)

Dissertation abstract (pdf)

Also see the Gfl-Journal (German as a
foreign language)/Goethe-Institut/DAAD

This title was choosed to the "Book of the Day" Buch des Tages 22.06.2002

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please visit our Links

This book is holded by the Library of Congress,
its abstract is mentioned in the Greek
National Documentation Centre (
and the book is listed at PitBossAnnie

Link to an English text
of Seim on censorship, written for the "Journal of Mundane Behavior",

Click here to find recent cases in Germany

And here some examples of music censorship in the USA (Peter Blecha)


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