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Laurie Taylor discusses the relationship between literature and sociology.: Laurie Taylor and guests explore the relationship between fiction and the real world.

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What is the relationship between literature and sociology? Laurie Taylor discusses fiction and the real world with crime writer Denise Mina, criminologist Dick Hobbs and English literature lecturer Nick Bentley.

From Charles Dickens' "Oliver" to Alan Sillitoe's "Saturday Night and Sunday Morning", literary descriptions of the social world - and working class life in particular - have often been called "realistic". But how has 'real life' been misrepresented by scholars and novelists alike? Can ethnography produce fictions of its own? And what skills are vital for any writer who wants to capture the complexity of everyday life?

Plus, is it really true, as WH Auden once suggested, that "poetry makes nothing happen"? Laurie and guests discuss the influence of literature and sociology on attitudes and policy, reflecting on how both can make a meaningful impact.

Producer: Alice Bloch.

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