Full Text


Roger Horrocks

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

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405124331.2007.x


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

Log In

You are not currently logged-in to Blackwell Reference Online

If your institution has a subscription, you can log in here:


     Forgotten your password?

Find out how to subscribe.

Your library does not have access to this title. Please contact your librarian to arrange access.

[ access key 0 : accessibility information including access key list ] [ access key 1 : home page ] [ access key 2 : skip navigation ] [ access key 6 : help ] [ access key 9 : contact us ] [ access key 0 : accessibility statement ]

Blackwell Publishing Home Page

Blackwell Reference Online ® is a Blackwell Publishing Inc. registered trademark
Technology partner: Semantico Ltd.

Blackwell Publishing and its licensors hold the copyright in all material held in Blackwell Reference Online. No material may be resold or published elsewhere without Blackwell Publishing's written consent, save as authorised by a licence with Blackwell Publishing or to the extent required by the applicable law.

Back to Top