Literature is often excluded from the realm of social science, even by qualitatively minded scholars. While research drawing on non-fiction documents, such as a historian might undertake, is usually lent legitimacy and seriousness, many view research in literature as an artistic domain best left to literary scholars. Novels, however, provide unique insights into important social questions, and social scientists cannot afford to ignore them. Furthermore, the distinctions between novels and social scientific works are ambiguous, and these domains share a great deal in both form and aim. This sharing cuts both ways, with novelists offering social insights comparable to those of the anthropologist or historian and the social scientist borrowing literary devices for the elaboration of his or her ideas.


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pp. 72-86
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