Sociology of the Book and Reading
Lecturer(s): doc. dr. Vogrinčič Čepič Ana
Sociology of the book and reading refers to a wide and heterogeneous field that combines various disciplines and research methods. It draws from sociology and literary science, (cultural) history, media studies and anthropology of everyday life, but also includes neuroscientific findings that importantly reveal the yet unknown meaning of reading. The primary focus of the course are the uses of books in a very broad sense, which exceeds reading as such and includes the different ways of acquiring books and of how they fit into our daily routine. It takes into consideration the multiple modes of book’s existence – as a commodity, as an aesthetic object, as a cultural good, and as an artwork. Sociology of the book and reading examines reading practices in historical and contemporary perspective. Among others it deals with the analysis of reading experience and with the effects of reading, especially in relation to digitization, while all along acknowledging the social context – social mores, leisure habits, political and religious factors etc. As such, the sociology of the book and reading is mostly concerned with reading behaviour in everyday life and in ways in which this is constantly and on various levels affected by the social circumstances. In contrast to sociology of literature, which is narrower in its scope, sociology of the book and reading emphasises the materiality of the book and the reading body, i.e. the embodied and emotional side of reading.