Should the sociological analysis of art festivals be Neo-Durkheimian?

TitleShould the sociological analysis of art festivals be Neo-Durkheimian?
Publication TypeJournal Article
AuthorsFabiani, J. - L.
Journal titleDurkheimian studies
Year2005
Pages49 - 66
Volume11
Issue1
Abstract

Durkheim's Aesthetics: A Neglected Argument? For quite some time now, Durkheimian sociology has been viewed as paying scant attention to art. Indeed, one can imagine that Durkheim was too busy establishing the fundamentals of his discipline to indulge in the more recreational aspects of social life. Sociologists build theories and consider serious topics (e.g. capital, division of labour, rationality and so on) and do not give extra-time to what's happening after the working day. If we look at indices and textbooks, this lack of interest is obvious. The upgrading of culture as a central feature of sociological investigation is a rather recent phenomenon (Alexander 2003, Fabiani 1993). In many ways this has to do with the emergence of cultural industries, which forced sociologists to analyze, first in a very critical manner, social changes brought about by the mass consumption of symbolic commodities. Today the sociology of art and culture has moved from the periphery to the centre. In France in particular, these topics have been taken up so as to renew theories and build intellectual reputations. Durkheim, of course, never planned to draw up any sociological aesthetics, as Bourdieu attempted to do in Distinction (1979). Although from today's perspective Bourdieu's book may be considered as a partial failure, one cannot deny the panache and inventiveness it involved, largely based as it was upon the recognition of the high sociological significance of cultural and artistic matters. Bourdieu's interest in art and literature was central from the very beginning of his career, and one of his first attempts to define the concept of field (champ) appeared in a paper devoted to literature (Bourdieu 1967). Things are obviously very different with Durkheim.

Languageeng
Notes

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Unit: 
Department of Sociology and Social Anthropology