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Site ReadingFiction, Art, Social Form$
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David J. Alworth

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780691183343

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: January 2019

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691183343.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM PRINCETON SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.princeton.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Princeton University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in PRSO for personal use.date: 26 September 2021

The Site of the Social

The Site of the Social

(p.1) Introduction The Site of the Social
Site Reading

David J. Alworth

Princeton University Press

This introductory chapter strives to demonstrate the novel as an acute instrument of sociological thought, or, more specifically, that the “terra incognita” of setting contains vivid and valuable insights about the experience of collectivity. This does not mean overlooking the formal qualities of narrative prose fiction but looking at them in a certain way: with an eye toward how they effect something like a radically literary sociology. If the novel's delineation of consciousness has long instructed us about both individual personhood and the human mind, and if its treatment of physical things has prompted us more recently to pose fresh questions about matter and materiality, then perhaps its figuration of sites, vibrant assemblages of persons, and things might occasion a new inquiry into the nature of sociality.

Keywords:   novel, sociological thought, collectivity, literary sociology, sociality, prose fiction

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