Art and Aesthetics (Hardback) book cover

Art and Aesthetics

Edited by Marta Herrero, David Inglis

© 2009 – Routledge

1,430 pages

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Hardback: 9780415450119
pub: 2008-11-25
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About the Book

Under what social conditions do particular sorts of arts and aesthetics arise and flourish, and under what conditions do they decline and disappear? What types of artistic and aesthetic practices exist outside of museums, galleries, and other high-cultural institutions? In what ways are social relations and broader cultural forces embedded within particular artworks, or specific artistic genres and forms? What roles can—and do—aesthetic orientations and artistic processes and products play in social life? In what ways are arts and aesthetics socially organized, regulated, distributed, and utilized? How are ‘art worlds’ connected to other major social institutions, such as politics and the economy, and has art become just an offshoot of consumer and celebrity culture?

Serious work on dizzying questions such as these has a long pedigree, stretching back at least to the writings of Giambattista Vico and Madame de Staël in the eighteenth century. Very simply put, both these authors were concerned with tracing the manifold relations that can pertain between the arts—and, more broadly, ‘aesthetics’—on the one hand, and ‘society’ on the other. Since then, social scientists in many disciplines have had compelling things to say about art and aesthetics. In some disciplines—such as anthropology—this is a fact of long standing, while in others—like human geography—it is of more recent provenance. But the most striking recent surge of interest in the area has taken place in sociology, where never before have cultural forces and phenomena been so centrally on the research agenda.

Addressing the need for an authoritative reference work to make sense of this rapidly growing and ever more complex corpus of scholarly literature, Art and Aesthetics is a new title in the Routledge series, Critical Concepts in the Social Sciences. Edited by two leading scholars, this new Major Work from Routledge brings together in four volumes foundational and the very best cutting-edge scholarship to provide a synoptic view of all the key issues and current debates.

In particular, this new collection brings together for the first time the most important research on how social relations are embodied in artistic and aesthetic products and processes, and how these in turn can affect social life and societal organization. Rooted in sociology, but also embracing a broad range of diverse contributions from other disciplines—such as anthropology, philosophy, art history, cultural studies, media studies, film studies, gender studies, and postcolonial studies—Art and Aesthetics demonstrates the great vitality of this area of research and teaching. It highlights both how social scientists are increasingly developing sophisticated ways of understanding artistic and aesthetic issues, and also how scholars in the humanities are drawing upon social-scientific ideas and methods in order more fully to engage with such matters than hitherto was possible.

Art and Aesthetics is fully indexed and has a comprehensive introduction, newly written by the editors, which places the material in its historical and intellectual context. It is an essential work of reference and is destined to be valued by scholars and students interested in the relations between arts, aesthetics, culture, and society as a vital one-stop research and pedagogic resource.

Table of Contents

Volume I: Classical Contributions to the Study of Art and Aesthetics

Classical Social Scientific Understandings of Art and Aesthetics

1. Stefan Morawski (1970) ‘The Aesthetic Views of Marx and Engels’, The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism, 28(3), 301–14.

2. Murray S. Davis (1973) ‘Georg Simmel and the Aesthetics of Social Reality’, Social Forces, 51(3), 320–9.

3. Peter U. Hohendahl (1987) ‘Art Work and Modernity: The Legacy of Georg Lukacs’, New German Critique, 42, Autumn, 33–49.

4. Leo Lowenthal and Ted R. Weeks (1987) ‘Sociology of Literature in Retrospect’, Critical Inquiry, 14(1), 1–15.

5. Lawrence A. Scaff (1993) ‘Life Contra Ration: Music and Social Theory’, Sociological Theory, 11(2), July, 234–40.

6. Ellen M. Thomson (1999) ‘Thorstein Veblen at the University of Chicago and the Socialization of Aesthetics’, Design Issues, 15(1), 3–15.

7. Robert W. Witkin (2000) ‘Why Did Adorno "Hate" Jazz?’, Sociological Theory, 18(1), Mar., 145–70.

8. Alan C. Turley (2001) ‘Max Weber and the Sociology of Music’, Sociological Forum, 16(4), 633–53.

Art History, Aesthetics, and Society

9. Vytautas Kavolis (1964) ‘Art Content and Social Involvement’, Social Forces, 42(4), May, 467–72.

10. F. Graeme Chalmers (1973) ‘The Study of Art in a Cultural Context’, The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism, 32(2), Winter, 249–56.

11. Arnold Hauser (1979) ‘The L’Art Pour L’Art Problem’, Critical Inquiry, 5(3), Spring, 425–40.

12. Janet Wolff (1993) ‘Sociology Versus Aesthetics’, Aesthetics and the Sociology of Art (Houndsmills: Macmillan), pp. 27–47.

13. Robert W. Witkin (2005) ‘A "New" Paradigm for a Sociology of Aesthetics’ in David Inglis and John Hughson (eds.), The Sociology of Art: Ways of Seeing (Basingstoke: Palgrave), pp. 57–72.

14. Griselda Pollock (2007) ‘Thinking Sociologically: Thinking Aesthetically. Between Convergence and Difference with Some Historical Reflections on Sociology and Art History’, History of the Human Sciences, 20(2), 141–75.

Volume II: Art As Social Institution and Collective Practice

15. Harrison C. White and Cynthia White (1965) ‘A New System Emerges’, Canvases and Careers: Institutional Change in the French Painting World (New York: Wiley), pp. 76–110.

16. Milton C. Albrecht (1968) ‘Art as an Institution’, American Sociological Review, 33(3), 383–97.

17. Ian Watt (1968) ‘Serious Reflections on "The Rise of the Novel"’, Novel: A Forum on Fiction, 1(3), Spring, 205–18.

18. Richard Wollheim (1970) ‘Sociological Explanation of the Arts: Some Distinctions’, in Milton C. Albrecht, James H. Barnett, and Mason Griff (eds.), The Sociology of Art and Literature (London: Duckworth), pp. 574–81.

19. Howard Becker (1974) ‘Art as Collective Action’, American Sociological Review, 39(6), 767–76.

20. Arthur C. Danto (1974) ‘The Transfiguration of the Commonplace’, Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism, 33, 139–48.

21. Clifford Geertz (1976) ‘Art as a Cultural System’, MLN, 91(6), 1473–99.

22. Raymond Williams (1981) ‘Institutions’, Culture (London: Fontana), pp. 33–56.

23. Pierre Bourdieu (1983) ‘The Field of Cultural Production, or: The Economic World Reversed’, Poetics: Journal of Empirical Research on Literature, the Media, and the Arts, 12(4–5), Nov., 311–56.

24. Nicklas Luhmann and David Roberts (1985) ‘The Work of Art and the Self-Reproduction of Art’, Thesis Eleven, 12(1), 4–27.

25. Paul DiMaggio (1987) ‘Classification in Art’, American Sociological Review, 52(4), Aug., 440–55.

26. Pierre Bourdieu (1988) ‘The Invention of the Artist’s Life’, Yale French Studies, 73, 75–103.

27. Norbert Elias (1993) ‘Craftsmen’s Art and Artists’ Art’, Mozart: Portrait of a Genius (Cambridge: Polity), pp. 42–9.

28. Antoine Hennion (2007) ‘Those Things That Hold Us Together: Taste and Sociology’, Cultural Sociology, 1(1), 97–114.

Evaluating the Social Scientific Study of Art and Aesthetics

29. Elizabeth Bird (1979) ‘Aesthetic Neutrality and the Sociology of Art’, in Michèle Barrett et al. (eds.), Ideology and Cultural Production (London: Croom Helm), pp. 25–48.

30. Anne Bowler (1994) ‘Methodological Dilemmas in the Sociology of Art’, in Diana Crane (ed.), The Sociology of Culture: Emerging Theoretical Perspectives (Cambridge, MA: Blackwell), pp. 247–66.

31. Paul Crowther (1994) ‘Sociological Imperialism and the Field of Cultural Production: The Case of Bourdieu’, Theory, Culture & Society, 11(1), 155–69.

32. Ian Heywood (1997) ‘Art’s World and the Social World’, Social Theories of Art: A Critique (New York University Press), pp. 9–29.

33. Nick Zangwill (2002) ‘Against the Sociology of Art’, Philosophy of the Social Sciences, 32(2), 206–18.

34. David Inglis (2005) ‘The Sociology of Art: Between Cynicism and Reflexivity’, in David Inglis and John Hughson (eds.), The Sociology of Art: Ways of Seeing (Basingstoke: Palgrave), pp. 98–109.

Volume III: The Social Organisation of Art and Aesthetics

Art and Social Class

35. Paul DiMaggio and Michael Useem (1978) ‘Social Class and Arts Consumption: The Origins and Consequences of Class Differences in Exposure to the Arts in America’, Theory and Society, 5(2), 141–61.

36. Richard A. Peterson and Roger M. Kern (1996) ‘Changing Highbrow Taste: From Snob to Omnivore’, American Sociological Review, 61(55), 900–7.

37. Francie Ostrower (1998) ‘The Arts as Cultural Capital Among Elites: Bourdieu’s Theory Reconsidered’, Poetics: Journal of Empirical Research on Culture, the Media and the Arts, 26(1), Sept., 43–53.

38. Tak Wing Chan and John H. Goldthorpe (2007) ‘Social Stratification and Cultural Consumption: The Visual Arts in England’, Poetics: Journal of Empirical Research on Culture, the Media and the Arts, 35(2–3), Apr.–June, 168–90.

Art and Gender

39. Linda Nochlin (1971) ‘Why Have There Been No Great Women Artists?’, ARTnews, 69(2), 67–71.

40. Michal McCall (1978) ‘The Sociology of Female Artists’, Studies in Symbolic Interaction, 1, 289–318.

41. Gaye Tuchman and Nina E. Fortin (1984) ‘Fame and Misfortune: Edging Women Out of the Great Literary Tradition’, The American Journal of Sociology, 90(1), 72–96.

42. Norma Broude and Mary D. Garrard (1994) ‘Introduction: Feminism and Art in the Twentieth Century’, in Broude and Garrard (eds.), The Power of Feminist Art: The American Movement of the 1970s. History and Impact (New York: Harry N. Abrams), pp. 10–29.

Art and Ethnicity

43. Belinda Edmondson (1992) ‘Black Aesthetics, Feminist Aesthetics, and the Problems of Oppositional Discourse’, Cultural Critique, 22, Autumn, pp. 75–98.

44. Larry Shiner (1994) ‘"Primitive Fakes", "Tourist Art" and the Ideology of Authenticity’, Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism, 52(2), 225–34.

45. Haidy Geismar (2001) ‘What’s in a Price? An Ethnography of Tribal Art at Auction’, Journal of Material Culture, 6(1), 25–47.

Artistic Careers and Reputations

46. Gladys Engel Lang and Kurt Lang (1988) ‘Recognition and Renown: The Survival of Artistic Reputations’, The American Journal of Sociology, 94(1), 79–109.

47. Tia DeNora (1991) ‘Musical Patronage and Social Change in Beethoven’s Vienna’, The American Journal of Sociology, 97(2), 310–46.

48. Nathalie Heinich, (1996) ‘From Silence to Hermeneutics: The Posthumous Making of van Gogh’s Oeuvre’, The Glory of Van Gogh: An Anthropology of Admiration (Princeton University Press), pp. 3–34.

49. Susanne Janssen (2001) ‘The Empirical Study of Careers in Literature and the Arts’, in Dick Schram and Gerard Steen (eds.), The Psychology and Sociology of Literature (Amsterdam: John Benjamins), pp. 323–57.

Categorizing Art: From ‘Low’ to ‘High’

50. Richard Christopherson (1974) ‘From Folk Art to Fine Art: A Transformation in the Meaning of Photographic Work’, Urban Life and Culture, 3, 123–57.

51. Shyon Baumann (2001) ‘Intellectualization and Art World Development: Film in the United States’, American Sociological Review, 66(3), 404–26.

Volume IV: Investigating Contemporary Art Worlds

Categorizing Art: From ‘Outsiders’ to ‘Insiders’

52. Julia S. Ardery (1997) ‘"Loser Wins": Outsider Art and the Salvaging of Disinterestedness’, Poetics: Journal of Empirical Research on Culture, the Media and the Arts, 24(5), 329–46.

53. Anne E. Bowler (1997) ‘Asylum Art: The Social Construction of an Aesthetic Category’, in Vera Zolberg and Joni M. Cherbo (eds.), Outsider Art: Contesting Boundaries in Contemporary Culture (Cambridge University Press), pp. 11–36.

The Sociology of Museums and Art Collections

54. Gordon J. Fyfe (1988) ‘On the Relevance of Basil Bernstein's Theory of Codes to the Sociology of Art Museums’, Journal of Material Culture, 3(3), 325–54.

55. Victoria D. Alexander (1996) ‘Pictures at an Exhibition: Conflicting Pressures in Museums and the Display of Art’, The American Journal of Sociology, 101(4), 797–839.

56. Marta Herrero (2002) ‘Towards a Sociology of Art Collections: Irish Intellectuals, Modernity and the Making of a Modern Art Collection’, International Sociology, 17(1), 57–72.

57. Nick Prior (2003) ‘Having One’s Tate and Eating it: Transformations of the Museum in a Hypermodern Era’, in Andrew McLellan (ed.), Art and its Publics: Museum Studies at the Millennium (Oxford: Blackwell), pp. 51–74.

Avant-Gardes and Contemporary Art

58. Diana Crane (1989) ‘Reward Systems in Avant-Garde Art: Social Networks and Stylistic Change’, in Arnold W. Foster and Judith R. Blau (eds.), Art and Society: Readings in the Sociology of Art (Albany: State University of New York Press), pp. 261–72.

59. Jean Baudrillard (1993) ‘Transaesthetics’, The Transparency of Evil (London: Verso), pp. 14–19.

60. Zygmunt Bauman (1997) ‘The Meaning of Art and the Art of Meaning’, Postmodernity and its Discontents (Cambridge, Polity Press), pp. 103–11.

61. Nathalie Heinich (1999) ‘The Sociology of Contemporary Art: Questions of Method’, in Jean-Marie Schaeffer (ed.), Think Art: Theory and Practice in the Art of Today (The Netherlands: Witte de With Centre for Contemporary Art), pp. 65–75.

62. Aidan While (2003) ‘Locating Art Worlds: London and the Making of Young British Art’, Area, 35(3), 252–63.

63. Vera L. Zolberg (2005) ‘Aesthetic Uncertainty: The New Canon?’, in Mark Jacobs and Nancy Weiss Hanrahan, The Blackwell Companion to the Sociology of Culture (Oxford: Blackwell), pp. 114–30.

Arts and Values

64. Marcia Brystyn (1978) ‘Art Galleries as Gatekeepers: The Case of the Abstract Expressionists’, Social Research, 45(2), Summer, 390–408.

65. Raymonde Moulin (1994) ‘The Construction of Art Values’, International Sociology, 9(1), 5–12.

66. Olav Velthuis (2003) ‘Symbolic Meanings of Prices: Constructing the Value of Contemporary Art in Amsterdam and New York Galleries’, Theory and Society, 32(2), 181–215.

67. Stuart Plattner (1998) ‘A Most Ingenious Paradox: The Market for Contemporary Fine Art’, American Anthropologist, 100(2), 482–93.

68. Chin-tao Wu (1996) ‘Corporate Collectors of Contemporary Art in Britain’, in Rosanne Martorella (ed.), Art and Business: An International Perspective on Sponsorship (London: Praeger), pp. 89–100.

Art and Globalization

69. Lynn M. Hart (1995) ‘Three Walls: Regional Aesthetics and the International Art World’, in George E. Marcus and Fred R. Myers (eds.), The Traffic in Culture: Refiguring Art and Anthropology (Berkeley, CA: University of California Press), pp. 127–50.

70. Howard Morphy (1995) ‘Aboriginal Art in a Global Context’, in Daniel Miller (ed.), Worlds Apart: Modernity through the Prism of the Local (London: Routledge), pp. 211–39.

71. Alain Quemin (2006) ‘Globalization and Mixing in the Visual Arts: An Empirical Survey of "High Culture" and Globalization’, International Sociology, 21(4), 522–50.

About the Series

Critical Concepts in the Social Sciences

The Critical Concepts in Social Sciences series encompasses a wide area of study and consequently the series includes titles on a number of popular subject areas, including human geography, leisure, tourism and economics. Risk is a new publication within this series and a suitable apt title for the times we live in. Examining potential hazards, such as hurricanes, earthquakes and oil spills, the collection looks to uncover how we may better understand Risk Analysis.

The social sciences is a large area of study that is growing in interest and research output. Collections in this series look to collate the best of the available scholarship and are edited and introduced by leading academics in the field.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
ART / General
ART / Reference
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology / General