The Apology of Popular Fiction: Everyday Uses of Literature in Poland

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Popular fiction is expelled from literary canons and is usually treated as a form of ludic or emotional relaxation and an escape from daily problems (Nell 1988; Radway 1984). Drawing on the results of my study on Polish readers, I claim that reading popular fiction, as an everyday-life activity, is much more than a simple leisurely activity, and plays a vital role in the way readers cope with their surrounding environment. Employing the framework of phenomenological sociology I argue that reading popular fiction can be described in terms of a rational action undertaken in order to achieve specific pragmatic goals, such as emotional tuning or search for subjectively important information.


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