Nadezhda Sokolova 1, Ekaterina Mikhailova 2
  • 1 National Research University Higher School of Economics, 16 Soyuza Pechatnikov Str., Saint Petersburg, 190008, Russian Federation
  • 2 HSE University at Saint Petersburg, Griboyedova Canal Emb., 123, Saint Petersburg, Russian Federation 190068

The Literature “Not for Everyone” and the Phenomenon of the Guilty Pleasure: Classifications in Literature as a Space for Distinction

2022, vol. 21, No. 1, pp. 180–205 [issue contents]
This article presents the results of the pilot study in the sphere of literature classifications in Russia in the case of a group of students. The creation of artistic classifications is the focus of research, as the constructed symbolic hierarchies of consumption practices lead to the creation of social boundaries between groups. The boundaries between groups are manifested in the social exclusion of those individuals whose practices are marked as illegitimate in the established system. The results discuss two main categories that structure the reading practices of students, those of “classical literature” and “dime novels”. The consumption of classics is referred to “good taste” (the analogue of highbrow taste in the Russian context), while noting that these books are generally known to all segments of the population. The consumption of “dime novels” for our informants is possible only as a guilty pleasure, a consumption practice that takes a creation of distance with an object of consumption marked as something illegitimate into account. The results also discuss the universality of such a hierarchy of consumer practices. One group of informants can be attributed to those who support the norm that an educated person includes only the classics in his literary preferences, an object of consumption that brings symbolic benefits while avoiding any contact with illegitimate objects of consumption, while others question the grounds for such symbolic hierarchy.
Citation: Sokolova N., Mikhailova E. (2022) Literatura «ne dlya vsekh» i fenomen guilty pleasure: literaturnye klassifikatsii kak prostranstvo sozdaniya razlicheniya [The Literature “Not for Everyone” and the Phenomenon of the Guilty Pleasure: Classifications in Literature as a Space for Distinction]. The Russian Sociological Review, vol. 21, no 1, pp. 180-205 (in Russian)
The Russian Sociological Review
Office A-205
21/4 Staraya Basmannaya Ulitsa, Building 1
Deputy Editor: Marina Pugacheva
Rambler's Top100 rss