Freedom of Speech

Reflections in Art and Popular Culture

by Patricia L. Dooley


"Freedom of speech" issues affect far more than verbalized expressions: they impact art, music, social media, and even fashion.

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Cover image for Freedom of Speech

April 2017


Pages 166
Volumes 1
Size 6 1/8x9 1/4
Topics Popular Culture/General
  Current Events and Issues/New Media and Journalism

This book examines how freedom of speech is reflected in pop culture by looking at numerous examples of films, websites, television shows, and songs that have touched on—and impacted—this issue.

It is easy to overlook the importance of freedom of speech in our modern world, where it often seems "anything goes." In actuality, freedom of speech issues are still highly relevant in the 21st century, even if our cultural and social contexts now allow many forms of expression that were unacceptable in previous eras. This book focuses on how freedom of speech is reflected in pop culture by looking at the films, websites, television shows, and songs that have touched on—and impacted—this issue. It examines specific examples of freedom of speech issues within everything from print media to music, theater, photography, film, television, sports, video games, and social media and demonstrates that pop culture sometimes contributes to the expansion of freedom of speech.


  • Covers freedom of speech issues in popular culture in the 19th and 20th centuries as well as the present day
  • Examines everything from banned books to comic book censorship, music, theater, photography, film, television, video games, and social media
  • Enables readers to better appreciate how freedom of speech and expression is a subtext in most aspects of daily life
Author Info

Patricia L. Dooley joined the faculty at the Elliott School of Communication at Wichita State University after serving on the faculty of the University of Maine-Orono. She teaches at the undergraduate and graduate levels, including courses concerning communication law, the digital divide, controversial communication, communication research methods, and dimensions of mass media. Her publications include the book Taking Their Political Place: Journalists and the Making of an Occupation and a number of research journal articles and monographs, book chapters, reviews, and feature articles. Dooley has published articles in Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly, International Journal of Press and Politics, and The Journal of African American History. In 2013, Dooley finished a successful 10-year stint as director of the Elliott School's Master of Arts in Communication program. Previous to her academic career, she worked for 12 years at the Minnesota Historical Society.



"An evenhanded resource for conversation starting points on the tensions surrounding freedom of speech, individual rights, and community standards of acceptable expression."Library Journal

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