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Exploring the sacrality of reading as a social practice

Exploring the sacrality of reading as a social practice American Journal of Cultural Sociology (2021) 9:99–114 https://doi.org/10.1057/s41290-021-00132-3 EDITORIAL María Angélica Thumala Olave Accepted: 19 March 2021 / Published online: 3 April 2021 © The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature Limited 2021 Introduction During the first half of 2019, the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh put on an exhibition called Robots. It displayed a range of artefacts, from early mechanised human forms to more elaborate recent technology. The exhibition contained more than 100 objects—automatons, science fiction film stars and contemporary robots created in research laboratories. The curators’ objective was to reveal “our 500-year quest to make machines human” (National Museum  of  Scotland 2019). The main promotional poster of the exhibition displayed a REEM service robot, built by PAL Robotics in Spain in 2016. The friendly (or at least harmless)-looking white and black humanoid robot in the poster stands holding a book and appears to be reading it. The notion that “reading is what makes us human” is prevalent among people immersed in bookish cultures. The phrase often refers to reading for pleasure or curiosity as distinct from literacy, the capacity to decode texts, which is required for formal instruction and work. Literary scholar Alberto Manguel writes: “I believe that http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png American Journal of Cultural Sociology Springer Journals

Exploring the sacrality of reading as a social practice

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Publisher
Springer Journals
Copyright
Copyright © The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature Limited 2021
ISSN
2049-7113
eISSN
2049-7121
DOI
10.1057/s41290-021-00132-3
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

American Journal of Cultural Sociology (2021) 9:99–114 https://doi.org/10.1057/s41290-021-00132-3 EDITORIAL María Angélica Thumala Olave Accepted: 19 March 2021 / Published online: 3 April 2021 © The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature Limited 2021 Introduction During the first half of 2019, the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh put on an exhibition called Robots. It displayed a range of artefacts, from early mechanised human forms to more elaborate recent technology. The exhibition contained more than 100 objects—automatons, science fiction film stars and contemporary robots created in research laboratories. The curators’ objective was to reveal “our 500-year quest to make machines human” (National Museum  of  Scotland 2019). The main promotional poster of the exhibition displayed a REEM service robot, built by PAL Robotics in Spain in 2016. The friendly (or at least harmless)-looking white and black humanoid robot in the poster stands holding a book and appears to be reading it. The notion that “reading is what makes us human” is prevalent among people immersed in bookish cultures. The phrase often refers to reading for pleasure or curiosity as distinct from literacy, the capacity to decode texts, which is required for formal instruction and work. Literary scholar Alberto Manguel writes: “I believe that

Journal

American Journal of Cultural SociologySpringer Journals

Published: Apr 3, 2021

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