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Literature is often defined as a distinct category of writing in terms of particular formal or aesthetic attributes. Tony Bennett suggests that literature be re-defined as an institutionally defined field of textual uses and effects. Charting a course between literary aesthetics and their associated politics, Bennett engages critically with the central concerns of Marxist theoreticians such as Georg Lukacs, Fredric Jameson, Terry Eagleton and Frank Lentricchia. Outside Literature also includes a critique of post-structuralist and postmodernist methodologies which, Bennett suggests, are incapable of supporting anything more than a purely rhetorical politics. Drawing on the work of Foucault, Bennett asserts the need for a more definite enquiry into the institutional regulation of culture, in order that questions of literary and cultural politics be detached from the eviscerating generalities of literary and cultural criticism.