Date of Award

5-2009

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Legacy Department

English

Advisor

LeMahieu, Michael

Committee Member

Rivlin , Elizabeth

Committee Member

McGrath , Brian

Abstract

My thesis examines and defines 'conditions of production' and 'conditions of consumption' as they apply to both Marxist economic theory and to the more culturally-oriented production and consumption of literary texts according to Pierre Bourdieu. I will establish the relationship between these conditions as cause and effect, complementary, and, finally, mutually necessary depending upon their context and manifestation. Alterations in the conditions of production and consumption affect our treatment of their corresponding, associative dichotomies in the literary tradition - the transcendent and the material, the spiritual and the corporal, the well-wrought art object and the commodity fetish, and, finally, male and female. I will finally demonstrate how the utopian text in particular, with its paradoxical goals of social change and mass marketability, both alludes to and eludes these categorizations as it projects and capitalizes on new, other worlds.

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