Book Review of 'Book clubs: women and the uses of reading in everyday life' by Elizabeth Long.
Sociology, 39(3) pp. 561–562.
The book begins with a reflection of the practice of reading, which argues that the image of the solitary reader and the apparently intensely private experience of
reading itself belie what Long terms its ‘social infrastructure’. This infrastructure connects reading with processes of socialization and with the institutional practices of those engaged in the production and dissemination of reading material, including writers, publishers and educators. Reading, Long argues, ‘lies in the shadows of the institutional order’ (p. 16) and, as such, readers are engaged in both the reproduction and recreation of hierarchies of value and power as well as processes of selfdiscovery and development.
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