The Social Organization of Arts: Theories of Arts Organization

Publikation: Bücher und AnthologienBuch


In the 1960s, several social transformations took place that moved arts from the periphery to the center of Western societies' consciousness. This transition changed not only the relationship between arts and their audiences, but also the arts themselves. This might be an important reason why various sociologists have turned their attention towards the sociology of arts and worked on theoretical foundations that are still relevant today. This book aims to describe and critically interpret how sociology analyzes how societies organize the arts, and in particular how contemporary Western societies shape and control the production, presentation, distribution and consumption of arts. The focus is on theoretical developments from the 1970s onwards. Our approach is certainly sociological, but we aim to integrate approaches from other disciplines, especially from cultural management studies and cultural policy research.
The book highlights the following six theoretical perspectives on the social organization of arts: 1) Howard S. Becker, who represents the interactionist approach to art worlds, 2) Pierre Bourdieu and his theory of artistic fields, 3) Niklas Luhmann, who developed a systems theory approach for arts organizations, 4) the Production-of-Culture Perspective, 5) Neo-Institutionalism, and 6) Cultural Institution Studies. These important theories have emerged from distinct epistemic constellations (different theoretical backgrounds, different problems, different terminologies), and they have been disseminated in different institutional sites and academic networks. The presentation of these theoretical works necessitates comparison: the book therefore includes two additional chapters, comparing their epistemological foundations and research directions. The book consists of eight chapters plus an introduction and an outlook. Our selection of sociological theories is a conscious choice of the most important theories of the social organization of arts. A monograph of this size cannot be an encyclopedia, yet we believe that our selection is convincing for readers.
This book addresses mainly graduate students (MA and PhD level) but also peers in academia that are newly awakened to the topic. For this reason, the chapters have a didactical structure, i.e. six chapters are dedicated to concrete theories, plus two comparative chapters that include critical objections, an introductory chapter with general foundations and ideas, and a final chapter with outlines of further theories and an outlook for future research.
Anzahl der Seiten240
PublikationsstatusIn Vorbereitung - 2024