Sociology of the Arts: Exploring Fine and Popular Forms / Edition 1

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This is a comprehensive overview of the sociology of art and an authoritative work of scholarship by a leading expert in the field. The international selection of perspectives, empirical research, and case studies makes this book essential for teaching and studying the sociology of art. Synthesizes the various theoretical models of art sociology. Provides empirical examples of books, films, television shows, dance, and music, as well as exemplars of sociological work on the arts. Discusses works from both fine and popular ends of the cultural spectrum. Explores how art is created, distributed, received, consumed, and used by people who experience it.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"In the twenty-five years that I have worked and taught in the field of sociology, this is the first textbook that I can remember enjoying and learning a lot from. Alexander’s Sociology of the Arts brings to life both cutting-edge research and classic works in the sociology of literature, music, art, and popular culture. Students will discover what fascinating things researchers have learned by studying the arts sociologically. And specialists will know what is happening in the forefront of the field." Ann Swidler, University of California at Berkeley

"Sociology of the Arts is a most welcome addition to the field. With a high level of sophistication, but without unnecessary jargon, Dr. Alexander clearly lays out the different frameworks of analysis that have emerged in recent years." Vera Zolberg, New School for Social Research

"This is an informative and thoughtful text for courses in the sociology of art." D. Harper, Univesity of Rochester

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780631230403
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 7/28/2003
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 388
  • Sales rank: 739,077
  • Product dimensions: 6.05 (w) x 9.08 (h) x 1.05 (d)

Meet the Author

Victoria D. Alexander is Lecturer of Sociology at the University of Surrey. She is the author of Museums and Money: The Impact of Funding on Exhibitions, Scholarship, and Management (1996).

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Table of Contents


1. Introduction: What is Art?.

Part I: The Relationship between Art and Society.

2. Reflection Approaches.

Case Study. The Reflection of Race in Children's Books.

3. Shaping Theory.

Case Study. Violence and Television.

4. A Mediated View: The Cultural Diamond.

Part II: The Cultural Diamond.

A. The Production of Culture.

5. Art Worlds.

Case Study. From Academy to Public Sale.

6. Culture Industries.

Case Study. Innovation and Diversity in the Production of Music.

7. Networks and Nonprofits.

Case Study. Piccolos on the Picket Line: A Strike in the Symphony.

8. Artists.

Case Study. Nothing Succeeds Like Success: Careers in the Film Industry.

9. Globalization.

Case Study. The Return of the Elgin (or Parthenon) Marbles?.

B. The Consumption of Culture.

10. Reception Approaches.

Case Study. Romance Novels as Combat and Compensation.

11. Audience Studies.

Case Study. Cowboys, Indians, and Western Movies.

12. Art and Social Boundaries.

Case Study. Framing Heavy Metal and Rap Music.

Part III: Art in Society.

13. The Art Itself.

Case Study. The Renaissance Way of Seeing.

14. The Constitution of Art in Society.

Case Study. A Strange Sensation: Controversies in Art.

Part IV: Conclusion.

15. Studying Art Sociologically.



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