Our brains are wired to experience the world as groups of similar things, rather than one by one. This is because we don’t require complete understandings of everything we meet, for example, a mechanic won’t need to know a different way of fixing every car. Since everyone is like this, we have separated literature, music, art and so on into genres.
With all the music, books, art, movies and more in the world, it would be very difficult to choose what to experience without genres, as you can tell a lot about a work by knowing its genre. Certain features are expected for works of a specific genre. For example, in a comedy, you would expect jokes, a funny storyline, and expect to laugh. So, if you experience a work you enjoy, you would look out for other works within the genre.
We can reinforce our sense of self by knowing specifically what we like or dislike, so we separate works into genres. So, instead of saying, “I enjoy reading books,” we reinforce our sense of self by saying, “I enjoy reading junior science-fiction books.” We would enjoy being part of a club, which loves a specific genre, more than we enjoy being part of a club which loves everything, as you have more in common with the club. Genres make us feel unique as well as part of a group.
Genres effectively organize and describe forms of art and culture. They exist for convenience as well as our own personal identity....