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Article

'A pathetic and racist and awful character': ethnomethodological approaches to the reception of diasporic fiction

Citation
Benwell B (2009) 'A pathetic and racist and awful character': ethnomethodological approaches to the reception of diasporic fiction. Language and Literature, 18 (3), pp. 300-315. http://lal.sagepub.com/content/18/3/300.full.pdf+html; https://doi.org/10.1177/0963947009105855

Abstract
In this article I report on findings from an ongoing research project into the activities of a transnational range of book groups reading the same series of 'diasporic' novels. Rather than relying upon speculations as to how readers respond to text-immanent cues, this project conceives reading as a socially situated, localized activity, contingent upon the context in which it is produced. Empirical approaches to literary reception (whether historical, experimental, or ethnographic) have rarely taken full account of the conditions in which reception data is produced. An ethnomethodological analysis of transcribed book group sessions illuminates the 'social order' of particular book groups, their implicit values and systems of accountability, and their careful management and negotiation of subjective experience. This contributes to a complex understanding of the processes of literary interpretation, allowing linguistic studies of reading to complement sociological reception studies.

Keywords
book groups; commonsense anti-racism discourses; ethnomethodology; Levy, Andrea; reception theory; Small Island

Journal
Language and Literature: Volume 18, Issue 3

StatusPublished
Author(s)Benwell, Bethan
Publication date31/08/2009
URLhttp://hdl.handle.net/1893/8922
PublisherSage
Publisher URLhttp://lal.sagepub.com/content/18/3/300.full.pdf+html
ISSN0963-9470
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