If my general argument is accurate it has particular consequences for literature. I have argued that texts enter into particular generic configurations precisely because writers and readers treat language as having social consequences. Writers therefore construct texts in conformity with perceived generic conventions because they intend their texts to have the particular ‘meanings’ associated with the genre and readers interpret such texts according to the same conventions because they are familiar with previous, similar texts and recognise the intentions. Genres are differentiated precisely to the extent that the social activities they symbolise can be differentiated. However, because individual social practices are embedded in a nexus of dominant practices (or discourses) which give them legitimacy, genres are likely to retain traces of such discourses. Thus, although genres may be realised as relatively distinct text types, individual texts may manifest features of other, overlapping genres.