Enter Culture, Exit Arts? : The Transformation of Cultural Hierarchies in European Newspaper Culture Sections, 1960–2010 book cover
1st Edition

Enter Culture, Exit Arts?
The Transformation of Cultural Hierarchies in European Newspaper Culture Sections, 1960–2010

ISBN 9780367665319
Published September 30, 2020 by Routledge
274 Pages

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Book Description

Key debates of contemporary cultural sociology – the rise of the ‘cultural omnivore’, the fate of classical ‘highbrow’ culture, the popularization, commercialization and globalization of culture – deal with temporal changes. Yet, systematic research about these processes is scarce due to the lack of suitable longitudinal data. This book explores these questions through the lens of a crucial institution of cultural mediation – the culture sections in quality European newspapers – from 1960 to 2010.

Starting from the framework of cultural stratification and employing systematic content analysis both quantitative and qualitative of more than 13,000 newspaper articles, Enter Culture, Exit Arts? presents a synthetic yet empirically rich and detailed account of cultural transformation in Europe over the last five decades. It shows how classifications and hierarchies of culture have changed in course of the process towards increased cultural heterogeneity. Furthermore, it conceptualizes the key trends of rising popular culture and declining highbrow arts as two simultaneous processes: the one of legitimization of popular culture and the other of popularization of traditional legitimate culture, both important for the loosening of the boundary between ‘highbrow’ and ‘popular’.

Through careful comparative analysis and illustrative snapshots into the specific socio-historical contexts in which the newspapers and their representations of culture are embedded – in Finland, France, Spain, Sweden, Turkey and the UK – the book reveals the key patterns and diversity of European variations in the transformation of cultural hierarchies since the 1960s. The book is a collective endeavour of a large-scale international research project active between 2013 and 2018.

Table of Contents

Preface and Acknowledgments  1. Introduction: Newspapers and the Study of Changing Cultural Hierarchies  PART I: THE SHIFT IN CULTURAL LEGITIMACY  2. The Transformation: On the Rise of Popular Culture and the Decline of Classical Highbrow Arts  3. Both Legitimization and Popularization: How Evaluations of Pop-Rock and Classical Music Have Become Increasingly Similar  PART II: DIMENSIONS OF THE TRANSFORMATION  4. Globalization: On the Tension between National and International Culture  5. Commercialization: On the Commercial Dimension and Advertisements  6. Beyond Culture: Politics and the Role of Culture in a Wider Socio-Historical Context  PART III: THE PLACE AND SPACE OF CULTURE  7. Packaging of Culture: On the ‘Crisis’ of Cultural Journalism and Journalistic Popularization  8. Conclusion  Appendix A: Collecting and coding the newspaper data  Appendix B: Additional tables  References

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Semi Purhonen is Associate Professor of Sociology at the Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Tampere, Finland. Between 2013 and 2018, he worked as academy research fellow at the Academy of Finland and was the Director of the research project ‘Cultural Distinctions, Generations and Change’, which lays the ground for the present book. His research interests are in the fields of cultural sociology, consumption, lifestyles and social stratification; sociology of age, generation and social change; and comparative research and sociological theory.

Riie Heikkilä is a postdoctoral researcher at the Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Tampere, Finland. Her main research interests include cultural capital, cultural consumption and social stratification, and comparative sociology in general. Her research project ‘Understanding Cultural Disengagement in Contemporary Finland’ has funding from the Academy of Finland until 2020.

Irmak Karademir Hazir is Senior Lecturer in Sociology at the Department of Social Sciences, Oxford Brookes University, UK. Her research focuses on topics such as taste, socio-cultural change, Bourdiesian analysis of Turkish consumption scene and embodiment. She has worked as a board member of the European Sociological Association, Consumption Research Network and International Sociological Association, Research Committee on the Body in the Social Sciences.

Tina Lauronen is a PhD candidate at the Department of Social Research, the University of Helsinki, Finland. She has worked in the project ‘Cultural Distinctions, Generations and Change’ with a funding from Kone Foundation, and her dissertation focuses on the cultural globalization through the content analysis of the data from culture sections in quality European newspapers.

Carlos J. Fernández Rodríguez is Senior Lecturer at the Department of Sociology of Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Spain. His research interests are sociology of consumption, sociology of work and organizations, and industrial relations. He currently acts as the President of the Research Committee of Sociology of Consumption at the Spanish Federation of Sociology.

Jukka Gronow is Professor Emeritus of Sociology at the Uppsala University, Sweden. His professional interests cover social theory, economic sociology and the sociology of consumption as well as the social and cultural history of the Soviet Union. His latest book is Fashion Meets Socialism: Fashion Industry in the Soviet Union after the Second World War (SKS 2015, co-authored with Sergey Zhuravlev).


'A valuable and original comparative study addressing current debates about cultural change.'

- Alan Warde, Professor of Sociology, School of Social Sciences, University of Manchester, UK

"Enter Culture, Exit Arts? is a meticulous, multi-method study that leverages comparisons across countries and over time to maximum effect. Through the comparison of trajectories of discourses on culture, the authors are able to make sense of large-scale cultural changes while also smartly pushing forward our understanding of numerous core issues in cultural sociology. The clear writing and organization of the book into thematic chapters will make it useful for both scholars and students."

- Shyon Baumann, Professor of Sociology, University of Toronto, Canada

"This is a timely and pioneering contribution to cultural sociology, since many debates about the developments in classifications of cultural production and consumption are about change over time, but often without systematic longitudinal empirical analysis. The authors’ comparative analysis combines empirical solidity in describing and exploring the changes in detail with theoretical nuance in relating the empirical details to key sociological dynamics in the processes of ‘loosening’ the boundary between ‘highbrow’ and ‘popular’ cultural classifications."

- Bente Halkier, Professor, University of Copenhagen, Denmark

"Drawing on an impressive data collection, this book contributes to the cross-national study of how cultural classification systems have changed over time. It is an excellent empirical study of transformations in the European cultural field in the past half-century that revisits important questions regarding artistic legitimation and cultural globalization, while also offering new directions for thinking about the evolution of cultural hierarchies."

- Marc Verboord, Associa