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Literature, Culture and Society reinstates the centrality of literature to cultural studies. As cultural studies has grown from its modest origins on the margins of English Literature into the academic boom industry it is today, it has tended to discard both literature and sociology in favour of an increasing emphasis on the semiotics of popular culture. This book makes a determined attempt to re-establish the connections between literary studies, cultural studies and sociology. Arguing by turn, against literary humanism on the one hand, and sociological relativism on the other, this book is both an introduction to, and an intervention in, the major contemporary debates concerning the literary canon and its non-literary "others" The book provides an accessible overview of the major theoretical approaches to textual analysis, from hermeneutics to postmodernism, focusing both on the technologies of mechanical reproduction and on the social relations of commodification. The book also provides a number of useful illustrative case-studies of written texts and films. Literature, Culture and Society is a challenging and provocative introduction to the sociology of literature and will be essential reading for students and teachers of literary and cultural studies.