Full Text

Genre

Roger Horrocks


Subject Communication and Media Studies
Sociology » Sociology of Culture and Media

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405124331.2007.x


Extract

A genre is any group of texts identified as sharing a cluster of characteristics (such as structure, theme, style, mood, spatial or temporal setting, or function). The term may imply a precise list of characteristics or be used more flexibly as a way of exploring “family resemblances” (in Wittgenstein's sense of that phrase). New genres are constantly being identified, but use-value determines whether a proposed grouping gains long-term acceptance. The most useful tend to be highly specific groupings of examples which are closely related in space and time as well as form, regarded as “subgenres” of traditional genres. The idea of genre is not only a conceptual tool of scholars, but is also employed constantly in everyday life in the production, distribution, and reception of media products. In that sense it calls for investigation as an important social and industrial (as well as creative) phenomenon. Indeed, it has been studied for so many centuries that sophisticated traditions of theory and criticism have developed around it, reflecting changing conceptions of the text and its relationship with social contexts. Those traditions have sometimes remained specialized and separate (within the arts, linguistics, and media industries), but in recent years there has been an increased emphasis on interdisciplinary approaches that seek to articulate the semiotic with the social. The identification ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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