Arts and Power: Policies in and by the Arts

Research output: Books and anthologiesCollected editions and anthologiesResearch


The focus on concepts of power and domination in societal structures has characterized sociology since its beginnings. Max Weber’s definition of power as “imposing one’s will on others” is still relevant to explaining processes in the arts, whether their production, imagination, communication, distribution, critique or consumption. Domination in the arts is exercised by internal and external rulers through institutionalized social structures and through beliefs about their legitimacy, achieved by defining and shaping art tastes.
The complexity of how the arts relate to power arises from the complexity of the policies of artistic production, distribution and consumption—policies which serve to facilitate or hinder an aesthetic object from reaching its intended public. Curators, critics and collectors employ a variety of forms of cultural and artistic communication to mirror and shape the dominant social, economic and political conditions.
Arts and Power: Policies in and by the Arts brings together diverse voices who position the societal functions of art in fields of domination and power, of structure and agency—whether they are used to impose hegemonic, totalitarian or unjust goals or to pursue social purposes fostering equal rights and grassroots democracy. The contributions in this volume are exploratory steps towards what we believe can be a more systematic, empirically and theoretically founded sociological debate on the arts and power. And they are an invitation to take further steps.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationWiesbaden
PublisherSpringer Fachmedien Wiesbaden
Number of pages358
ISBN (print)978-3-658-37428-0
ISBN (electronic)978-3-658-37429-7
Publication statusPublished - 11.2022

Publication series

NameKunst und Gesellschaft
PublisherSpringer VS
ISSN (Print)2625-1531
ISSN (electronic)2625-154X

    Research areas

  • Cultural studies - Power, Politics in Art, Political Art, Affirmative Art, Arts Sociology, Critical Art, Art organization, Evaluation, Pop Feminism, Theatre, Musical Politics, Digital Arts, World Music Market
  • Science of art