From Art to Politics: How Artistic Creations Shape Political Conceptions

Overview

Murray Edelman holds a unique and distinguished position in American political science. For decades one of the few serious scholars to question dominant rational-choice interpretations of politics, Edelman looked instead to the powerful influence of signs, spectacles, and symbols - of culture - on political behavior and political institutions. His first, now classic, book, The Symbolic Uses of Politics, created paths of inquiry in political science, communication studies, and sociology that are still being ...
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Overview

Murray Edelman holds a unique and distinguished position in American political science. For decades one of the few serious scholars to question dominant rational-choice interpretations of politics, Edelman looked instead to the powerful influence of signs, spectacles, and symbols - of culture - on political behavior and political institutions. His first, now classic, book, The Symbolic Uses of Politics, created paths of inquiry in political science, communication studies, and sociology that are still being explored today. In this book, Edelman continues his quest to understand the influence of perception on the political process by turning to the role of art. He argues that political ideas, language, and actions cannot help but be based upon the images and narratives we take from literature, paintings, film, television, and other genres. Art provides us with the models, scenarios, narratives, and images we draw upon to make sense of political events. Exploring the diverse forms of influence that art exerts on political perceptions and actions, Edelman looks at the greater influence of indirect political messages as opposed to direct messages, the political implications of ambiguities in art, and the impact of architecture and public space on political beliefs and social order. He examines the subtle ways artistic modes enter government and politics, including how hierarchical relationships are brought into governmental operations through symbols and spectacle, how art creates contestable categorizations of public issues, and the use of art in influencing voting and lobbying. Finally, Edelman discusses art's potential for promoting diversity and democracy, while warning of its negative uses as well. In compelling us to reevaluate the meaning and uses of the political, this vital addition to a distinguished body of work will be required reading for anyone concerned with the dynamics of political persuasion.
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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Edelman (political science, U. of Wisconsin, Madison) examines the influence of indirect political messages including the political implications of ambiguities in art; the impact of architecture and public space on political beliefs and social order; subtle ways artistic modes enter government and politics; and art's potential for promoting diversity and democracy. A few notes throughout, but lacks a bibliography. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780226184012
  • Publisher: University of Chicago Press
  • Publication date: 10/28/1996
  • Edition description: 1
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 162
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Acknowledgments
1 The Cardinal Political Role of Art 1
2 Art: Political Messages and Illusions 15
3 Art: Meanings, Constructions, Threats 34
4 Art: Transformations and Challenges 52
5 Architecture, Spaces, and Social Order 73
6 Art as a Component of Government 91
7 Contestable Categories and Public Opinion 108
8 A Reassessment of Influence on Public Policy 130
9 Some Concluding Reflections 143
Index 147
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