The Sociology of the Book and Reading
Lecturer(s): doc. dr. Vogrinčič Čepič Ana
Sociology of reading and the book deals with book-related social practices in various historical periods and points at the ‘life’ of different types of books and at the ways reading echoes in other social practices. Stemming from sociology of literature it develops its own epistemology which extends between social and cultural history, anthropology of everyday life and reception and bibliographic studies, and is autonomously using concepts, adapted from other disciplines. It analyses the complete net of production, distribution and reception actors, individual and collective, institutional and non-institutional, i.e. not only authors and readers, but also publishers and critics. It also deals with the implications of the transformations from oral to written and further on into print and e-society. The course refers to topical issues and points at similarities between past and present reading culture. It also touches upon the debate of the commercialisation of the book, which is turning readers into consumers; and opens up numerous other discussions, related to:
- the visual aspects of the book,
- social, cultural and economic history of authorship (literary stardom, bestsellers and the canon formation),
- dichotomy of low vs. high literature, - the book as a medium and reading as communication,
- reading sociability (reading institutions and reading as a form of leisure and pleasure).