Sociology of literature

The sociology of literature is a subfield of the sociology of culture. It studies the social production of literature and its social implications. A notable example is Pierre Bourdieu's 1992 Les Règles de L'Art: Genèse et Structure du Champ Littéraire, translated by Susan Emanuel as Rules of Art: Genesis and Structure of the Literary Field (1996).

Classical sociology

None of the 'founding fathers' of sociology produced a detailed study of literature, but they did develop ideas that were subsequently applied to literature by others. Karl Marx's theory of ideology has been directed at literature by Pierre Macherey, Terry Eagleton and Fredric Jameson. Max Weber's theory of modernity as cultural rationalisation, which he applied to music, was later applied to all the arts, literature included, by Frankfurt School writers such as Theodor Adorno and Jürgen Habermas. Emile Durkheim's view of sociology as the study of externally defined social facts was redirected towards literature by Robert Escarpit. Bourdieu's work is clearly indebted to Marx, Weber and Durkheim