This outstanding collection of hitherto unpublished work, written over the last fifteen years of the author's life, reveals the development and maturation of his ideas about sociology and art, and specifically about the relationship between them. Grafia sees in the artistic traditions of Western society the sociological sources of our sense of cultural form, as well as cultural and intellectual meaning. He discusses theories of art and theories of artists as they have changed over time, although the book is neither a history of art nor a criticism of specific artistic works. Rather, it is a defense of the sociology of art. Grafia believes that the difficult and ambitious questions in the sociology of art are not merely questions of the proper role or status of the artist, or the recognition of art as an ornament, perhaps the supreme ornament, of our culture. He believes that what the sociologist must come to terms with is the view of art as the representation, indeed the revelation of what is most telling and pervasive in culture itself. This perspective assumes that the most serious claims made for art are in fact inseparable from the unique claims that are made about art. Art can make visible what is implicit in our lives. Art can put before us a statement of what we are but do not always recognize in oursleves. Art is the mask and mimicry through which society gestures to us its ultimate and most poignant meanings. Grafia contends that this vision of art derives from Hegelian aesthetics, and he believes that this grand view-whether one takes an idealist, a literary, or a Marxist-materialist position-also implies a dramatically changed conception of society itself. The essays cover a variety of subjects, from Marx, museums, and modern literature, to Durkheim, Daniel Bell, and bullfighting-the last being the apotheosis of cultural expression rendered into artistic form. Throughout, Grafia considers questions of the social origins of our artistic and intellectual traditions, the influence of these traditions on our ways of thinking about society, and their pervasiveness as standards for social meaning.
Author: T. R. Young
Publisher: Transaction Publishers
These essays explore the many ways theatre and dramaturgy are used to shape the everyday experience of people in mass societies. Young argues that technologies combine with the world of art, music, and cinema to shape consciousness as a commodity and to fragment social relations in the market as well as in religion and politics. He sees the central problem of post-modern society as how to live in a world constructed by human beings without nihilism on the one hand or repressive dogmatism on the other. Young argues that in advanced monopoly capitalism, dramaturgy has replaced coercion as the management tool of choice for the control of consumers, workers, voters and state functionaries. Young calls this process the colonization of desire.' Desire is colonized by the use of dramaturgy, mass media, and the various forms of art in order to generate consumers, vesting desire in ownership and display rather than in interpersonal relationships with profound consequence for marriage, kinship, friendship and community. This gives rise to an ugly post-modern morality; moral action ceases to be mediated by self-other relations and is mediated by possession and use of commodities. While Young focuses his critique on capitalist societies undergoing great changes, he insists that the same developments are to be found in bureaucratically organized socialist societies. As social forces of self become untenable, other nonsocial source of self become attractive to the questing individual: body shape, body decorations, clothing fashions, astrological signs, Eastern religions as well as ownership of goods and the use of exotic services. Out of this quest for selfhood comes post-modern expression of music, art, dance, architecture as well as religion: highly variable, highly personal, and richly creative; often emancipatory but often hostile to common needs or to community. The Drama of Social Life will be of interest to those interested in theories of moral development, cultural studies, the uses of leisure, politics, or simply the uses of make believe and just pretend. It is intended for the informed lay public as much as for social psychologists. T.R. Young is director of the Red Feather Institute for Advanced Studies in sociology and a member of the faculty at Central Michigan University. He has edited the Transforming Sociology Series for the past eighteen years.
Author: Randy Martin
Release Date: 2015-02-11
The Routledge Companion to Art and Politics offers a thorough examination of the complex relationship between art and politics, and the many forms and approaches the engagement between them can take. The contributors - a diverse assembly of artists, activists, scholars from around the world – discuss and demonstrate ways of making art and politics legible and salient in the world. As such the 32 chapters in this volume reflect on performing and visual arts; music, film and new media; as well as covering social practice, community-based work, conceptual, interventionist and movement affiliated forms. The Companion is divided into four distinct parts: Conceptual Cartographies Institutional Materialities Modalities of Practice Making Publics Randy Martin has assembled a collection that ensures that readers will come away with a wider view of what can count as art and politics; where they might find it; and how it moves in the world. The diversity of perspectives is at once challenging and fortifying to those who might dismiss political art on the one hand as not making sufficient difference and on the other to those embracing it but seeking a means to elaborate the significance that it can make in the world. The Routledge Companion to Art and Politics brings together a range of issues and approaches and encourages critical and creative thinking about how art is produced, perceived, and received.
Author: Guy Debord
Publisher: Bread and Circuses Publishing
Release Date: 2012-10-01
Genre: Political Science
The Das Kapital of the 20th century,Society of the Spectacle is an essential text, and the main theoretical work of the Situationists. Few works of political and cultural theory have been as enduringly provocative. From its publication amid the social upheavals of the 1960's, in particular the May 1968 uprisings in France, up to the present day, with global capitalism seemingly staggering around in it’s Zombie end-phase, the volatile theses of this book have decisively transformed debates on the shape of modernity, capitalism, and everyday life in the late 20th century. This ‘Red and Black’ translation from 1977 is Introduced by Notting Hill armchair insurrectionary Tom Vague with a galloping time line and pop-situ verve, and given a more analytical over view by young upstart thinker Sam Cooper.
Author: Irving Louis Horowitz
Publisher: Transaction Publishers
Release Date: 2016-06-09
Genre: Social Science
Review essays and statements written for special occasions may reveal as much about the writer as those written about; this is the presumption undergirding this collection of thirty-five years of criticism and commentary by Irving Louis Horowitz. For this volume, he selected his comments on famous, near famous, and infamous sociologists, political scientists, and assorted literary figures in between. Taken as a whole, this volume will surprise and delight readers who are acquainted with Horowitz’s other works as well as those who are interested in the people he writes about. The book covers notable social scientists, from Arendt to Zetterberg, and such major figures in between as Becker, Bell, de Jouvenel, Mills, Parsons, Solzhenitsyn, and more than eighty others who have had an effect on the contemporary social and political landscape. Each is critically examined, sometimes positively, other times negatively. Horowitz was a major figure in his own right, and his writing here displays the kind of refreshing frankness experts will expect and the general reader will appreciate. The underlying assumption behind the volume, giving its disparate parts a unified characteristic, is that together these observations on others amount to a general perspective on social science held by the author. Whether his larger ambition is accepted or disputed, there is no doubt that the volume provides a standard against which to measure the literary quality of writing in the world of professional social research.
Author: Sara James
Release Date: 2018-05-11
Genre: Social Science
This volume critically engages with the work of the acclaimed Australian sociologist John Carroll. It makes the argument for a metaphysical sociology, which Carroll has proposed should focus on the questions of fundamental existence that confront all humans: ‘Where do I come from?’, ‘What should I do with my life?’ and ‘What happens to me when I die?’. These questions of meaning, in the secular modern West, have become difficult to answer. As contemporary individuals increasingly draw on their inner resources, or 'ontological qualities', to pursue quests for meaning, the key challenge for a metaphysical sociology concerns the cultural resources available to people and the manner in which they are cultivated. Through wide-ranging discussions which include, film, romantic love, terrorism and video games, Metaphysical Sociology takes up this challenge. The contributors include emerging and established sociologists, a philosopher, a renowned actor and a musician. As such, this collection will appeal to scholars of social theory and sociology, and to the general reader with interests in morality, art, culture and the fundamental questions of human existence.
Author: Antoine Hennion
Release Date: 2017-07-05
Music is an accumulation of mediators: instruments, languages, sheets, performers, scenes, media and so on. There is no musical object ?in itself?; music must always be made again. In this innovative book, Hennion turns the elusiveness of music into a resource for a pragmatic analysis: by which collective process do we make music appear among us? Rather than offering a sociology of music, The Passion for Music listens to the lesson provided by the case of music - this art of infinite mediations. Learning from music allows us to transform the paradigm to be offered by sociology, by confronting it (from Durkheim and Weber to Bourdieu) with a different way of considering objects. For this task, Hennion draws on aesthetics (Adorno) and art history (Haskell, Baxandall), as well as science and technology studies and popular music studies (Latour, Frith, DeNora). As part of that project, The Passion for Music presents a wide-ranging series of case studies, restoring attention to the rich and varied intermediaries through which music is brought to life: from the debate around the reinterpretation of baroque music, to the classroom, the rock scene, the classical music concert, Bach?s ?social career? in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, and the practices of music ?amateurs? today. This is the first English translation of one of the most important works of French scholarship on music and society.
Author: Erika Balsom
Publisher: Columbia University Press
Release Date: 2017-03-21
Genre: Performing Arts
Images have never been as freely circulated as they are today. They have also never been so tightly controlled. As with the birth of photography, digital reproduction has created new possibilities for the duplication and consumption of images, offering greater dissemination and access. But digital reproduction has also stoked new anxieties concerning authenticity and ownership. From this contemporary vantage point, After Uniqueness traces the ambivalence of reproducibility through the intersecting histories of experimental cinema and the moving image in art, examining how artists, filmmakers, and theorists have found in the copy a utopian promise or a dangerous inauthenticity—or both at once. From the sale of film in limited editions on the art market to the downloading of bootlegs, from the singularity of live cinema to video art broadcast on television, Erika Balsom investigates how the reproducibility of the moving image has been embraced, rejected, and negotiated by major figures including Stan Brakhage, Leo Castelli, and Gregory Markopoulos. Through a comparative analysis of selected distribution models and key case studies, she demonstrates how the question of image circulation is central to the history of film and video art. After Uniqueness shows that distribution channels are more than neutral pathways; they determine how we encounter, interpret, and write the history of the moving image as an art form.
Author: J. Patrick Williams
Release Date: 2016-12-05
Genre: Social Science
Across sociology and cultural studies in particular, the concept of authenticity has begun to occupy a central role, yet in spite of its popularity as an ideal and philosophical value authenticity notably suffers from a certain vagueness, with work in this area tending to borrow ideas from outside of sociology, whilst failing to present empirical studies which centre on the concept itself. Authenticity in Culture, Self, and Society addresses the problems surrounding this concept, offering a sociological analysis of it for the first time in order to provide readers in the social and cultural sciences with a clear conceptualization of authenticity and with a survey of original empirical studies focused on its experience, negotiation, and social relevance at the levels of self, culture and specific social settings.