As cultural studies has grown from its origins on the margins of literary studies, it has tended to discard both literature and sociology in favour of the semiotics of popular culture. Literature, Culture and Society makes a determined attempt to re-establish the connections between literary studies, cultural studies and sociology. Arguing against both literary humanism and sociological relativism, it provides a critical overview of theoretical approaches to textual analysis, from hermeneutics to postmodernism, and presents a substantive account of the capitalist literary mode of production.
This second edition has been fully revised and rewritten, with new sections including the impact of psychoanalysis and post-structuralism, and the recent work of academics such as Franco Moretti.
New case studies have been added in order to examine the intertextual connections between Genesis, Milton's Paradise Lost, Frankenstein (in Mary Shelley's original and also in several film versions), Karel Capek's R.U.R., Fritz Lang's Metropolis, Ridley Scott's Blade Runner, The X-Files and Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
Chapter One: Literature, Culture and the Canon 1. Literary Studies: Classics, Comparative Literature, English Literature 2. Literature as Value: The Canon, Criticism, Minority Culture 3. From Literary to Cultural Studies: The Sociological Turn 4. Elitism, Populism and Immodest Cultural Studies 5. The Intelligentsia as a Social Class Chapter Two: Analytical Strategies 1. Hermeneutics 2. Cultural Materialism and New Historicism 3. The Sociology of Culture 4. Theories of Ideology 5. Semiology and Semiotics 6. Psychoanalysis and Post-Structuralism 7. The Cultural Politics of Difference 8. Postmodernism Chapter Three: Mechanical Reproduction - The Forces of Production 1. The Literary Mode of Production 2. Mechanical Reproduction 3. The Print Media 4. The Audio-Visual Media 5. Cultural Form 6. The Sociology of the Novel 7. The Moretti Thesis: Core, Periphery and Literary Form Chapter Four: Commodity Culture - The Relations of Production 1. Print-Capitalism 2. Writers and Writing 3. Readers and Reading 4. The State, Ideology and the Market Chapter Five: Texts and Contexts - From Genesis to Frankenstein 1. Genesis 2. Paradise Lost 3. Frankenstein 4. Frankenstein in the Cinema Chapter Six: Texts and Contexts - From Rossum's Universal Robots to Buffy the Vampire Slayer 1. Rossum's Universal Robots 2. Metropolis 3. Blade Runner 4. The X-Files and Buffy the Vampire Slayer 5. The Postmodern Prometheus and the Biomechanical Demonoid 6. Postmodern Gothic 7. Conclusion: Loose Canons and Fallen Angels