Transgression in Contemporary Media Culture

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


This is the introduction to a special issue on media and transgression, one of early cultural studies’ key terms. It inquires into the uses of transgression as a critical concept to query contemporary media culture which is discussed in six case studies: on political satire, Mukbang, cult drama, the policing of film piracy, media scandals, and online trolls. Transgression points to the energy that fuels the media ecology – from content and content production to audience practices and the policing of content ownership. It is the (conscious) overstepping of moral and legal boundaries, that challenges written and unwritten rules. The frisson of rule breaking and the reward of rule re-establishment (whether by powerful parties or everyday gossip) are transgression’s bookends. Together they support the cyclical rhythm of media culture that maintains not just our interest as viewers but our interests and connectedness as citizens, whether in celebration, outrage or condemnation.


External organisations
  • University of Amsterdam
  • Hogeschool Inholland Diemen
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Media Studies


  • cultural citizenship, transgression, media power, media piracy
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3-14
JournalInternational Journal of Cultural Studies
Issue number1
Early online date2020 Nov 4
Publication statusPublished - 2021
Publication categoryResearch