Chapter

Introduction: Regionalism and the Reading Class

Wendy Griswold

in Regionalism and the Reading Class

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print August 2008 | ISBN: 9780226309224
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226309262 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226309262.003.0001
Introduction: Regionalism and the Reading Class

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People have voiced concerns that global cultural homogeneity is obliterating people's “sense of place” since the colonial-era condemnation of cultural imperialism. However, a considerable amount of research is showing that people refashion external cultural inputs to conform to local sensibilities. Specifically, people use the very elements of globalized, electronic culture to rediscover, invent, fashion, promote, and celebrate their place-specific distinctiveness. Regional culture is part of this process, and this book demonstrates that literary regionalism has benefited from the developments that some had thought would kill it off. This introductory chapter sets out the book's primary claims. First, cultural regionalism, and regional literature in particular, is flourishing. Second, a reading class, habitual readers of print with a distinct demographic profile, has emerged from the general public. Third, that the first two claims are connected. The reading class is an active agent that is constantly reinforcing regionalism.

Keywords: global cultural homogeneity; cultural inputs; regional culture; literary regionalism; regional literature; readers; cultural regionalism; reading class

Chapter.  621 words. 

Subjects: Sociology

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