From determination to distinction. Changes in the sociology of literature Cover Image

Od determinacji do dystynkcji. Przemiany socjologii literatury
From determination to distinction. Changes in the sociology of literature

Author(s): Jerzy Franczak
Subject(s): Literary Texts
Published by: Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Jagiellońskiego
Keywords: sociology of literature; literary text; Pierre Bourdieu; literary communication

Summary/Abstract: The article presents some changes in the sociology of literature and particularly the inspirational role which was played in this respect by Pierre Bourdieu’s reflexive anthropology. The classical sociology of literature used to focus on the issue of many-sided determination of a literary text. A literary work was perceived as a function (image, equivalent) of social relations which contributed to its creation. The gradual abandonment of the positivist and Marxist reductionism had led to the shift of emphasis to empirical research and an analysis of reception, which in turn had led to the development of the sociology of reception and the sociology of literary communication. The central dilemma of these disciplines (how to reconcile the idea of social determination with evaluation) could be solved only on the basis of a non-classical sociology. Pierre Bourdieu described literature as a system of communication, dependent on the field of cultural production, supporting the mechanism of distinction and functioning as a determinant of an affiliation with a privileged groupand as a criterion of exclusion. At the same time, he pointed to this aspect of literature which allows one to stage a crisis of semantic structures and present platitudes as serious problems, and in this way – reveal the assumptions and presuppositions created and reconstructed by a social game.

  • Issue Year: 2010
  • Issue No: 07+08
  • Page Range: 85-96
  • Page Count: 12
  • Language: Polish