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Book Clubs

Women and the Uses of Reading in Everyday Life

Book clubs are everywhere these days. And women talk about the clubs they belong to with surprising emotion. But why are the clubs so important to them? And what do the women discuss when they meet? To answer questions like these, Elizabeth Long spent years observing and participating in women’s book clubs and interviewing members from different discussion groups. Far from being an isolated activity, she finds reading for club members to be an active and social pursuit, a crucial way for women to reflect creatively on the meaning of their lives and their place in the social order.

Read an excerpt.

280 pages | 10 halftones | 6 x 9 | © 2003

Culture Studies

Literature and Literary Criticism: General Criticism and Critical Theory

Sociology: Social Psychology--Small Groups, Sociology of Arts--Leisure, Sports

Women's Studies

Table of Contents

ONE On the Social Nature of Reading
TWO Nineteenth-Century White Women’s Reading Groups: Literary Inspiration and Social Reform
THREE Between Past and Present: Introductory Reflections on the Changing Nature of Women’s Reading Groups
FOUR Exploring the Social World of Houston’s Reading Groups
FIVE Book Selection: Negotiating Group Identity through Literature
SIX Conversing with Books, Fashioning Subjectivity, Dealing with Difference
SEVEN Reading Groups and the Challenge of Mass Communication and Marketing
EIGHT At the End

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