Howard S. Becker: Art Worlds (1982)

16 February 2014, dusan

This classic sociological examination of art as collective action explores the cooperative network of suppliers, performers, dealers, critics, and consumers who—along with the artist—”produce” a work of art. Howard S. Becker looks at the conventions essential to this operation and, prospectively, at the extent to which art is shaped by this collective activity. He draws examples from music, drama, dance, literature, film, and the visual arts.

“Maybe the years I spent playing the piano in taverns in Chicago and elsewhere led me to believe that the people who did that mundane work were as important to an understanding of art as the better-known players who produced the recognized classics of jazz. Growing up [..] may have led me to think that the craftsman who help make art works areas important as the people who conceive them. My rebellious temperament may be the cause of a congenital antielitism. Learning the ‘Chicago tradition’ of sociology from Everett C. Hughes and Herbert Blumer surely led to a skepticism about conventional definitions of the objects of sociological study.” (from Preface)

Publisher University of California Press, 1982
ISBN 0520043863, 9780520043862
392 pages
via drebubbles

Review: Michael S. Kimmel (American Journal of Sociology, 1983)


PDF (44 MB, updated to OCR’d version on 2014-2-17 via Marcell Mars)

One Response to “Howard S. Becker: Art Worlds (1982)”

  1. k on February 16, 2014 7:09 pm

    a massive file, but very legible. thanks!

Trackback URI | Comments RSS

Leave a Reply

Name (required)

Email (required)


Speak your mind