Second ISA Forum of Sociology, Buenos Aires, Argentina, 1-4 August 2012

Research Committee on
Sociology of Arts, RC37

  on-line programme

Programme Coordinator

Marta HERRERO, University of Plymouth, United Kingdom,

RC37 Liaison in Argentina
Claudia Fidanza, Universidad Nacional de Luján,


All Forum participants (presenters, chairs, discussants, etc.) need to pay the early registration fee by April 10, 2012, in order to be included in the programme. If not registered, their names will not appear in the Programme or Abstracts Book.


provisional as of March 15, 2012, in alphabetical order


Analyzing art works as a way to social knowledge I


Analyzing art works as a way to social knowledge II


Art as research tool and/or sociological data: Visual, sound and sensory methodologies

Since Howard Becker’s writings on photography and sociology in the 1970s, sociologists have realized that they can use visual artifacts to study social life. This has now blossomed into the field known as visual sociology. But what about artistic media that address the other senses? Is there such a thing as acoustic or sound sociology or a sociology founded on the sense of taste or smell? This session invites contributions from scholars and researchers who are trying to reinvent what the sociology of art understands by method and how the arts can enlarge what we mean by research.


Art, (il)legitimacy and consecration processes? I


Art, (il)legitimacy and consecration processes? II


Art, institutions and politics


Artistic and non-artistic markets: Entrepreneurship, creativity and innovation

This session explores the relationships, influences and interconnections between artistic and non-artistic markets, (e.g. financial, design) by focusing on the impact of artistic practices on non-artistic markets, and, vice versa, of non-artistic practices on artistic markets. Market processes are treated here as those involved in aspects of production, distribution and consumption of market goods and services.

A case in point is the influence of financial markets on the art market, seen in the proliferation of art investment funds (Horowitz, 2011); similarly, highly aestheticized technologies, such as computer screens, turn, it is argued, the stock market into an epistemic, consumption object (Zwick and Dholakia, 2011).

The session welcomes papers that assess these processes of transfer with special focus on the practice of entrepreneurship, and notions of creativity and innovation.


La création comme processus de production et de médiation / Creation as a Process of Production and Mediation


RC37 Business Meeting


Social justice and democratization: Avant-gardes (then and now), art, and change I


Social justice and democratization: Avant-gardes (then and now), art, and change II


The sociology of art and sociological theory: Intersections and new dialogues

Most sociologists tend to agree that art is a social construct and that all aesthetic forms - irrespective of their prestige - are worth studying; and also that the ‘production’ and ‘reception’ of artworks are separate and equally important processes (i.e., that the meanings of art can’t be reduced to the intentions of the creator of the artwork).

However, an argument could be made that - like the sociology of knowledge and the sociology of science - now that the sociology of art has done away with unhelpful assumptions, and established its own credentials, the terrain is once again open to explore what the sociology of art and sociological theory can offer each other.

For example, can art teach sociological theory something specific about the nature of cognition or agency or meaning? Which recent theoretical developments accord most closely with the conceptual and methodological trajectories chosen by sociologists studying the arts? Actor-network theory? The sociology of the emotions? Material culture studies and/or the study of things? And, since terms like ‘creativity’ and ‘intangibles’ have become buzzwords, can the sociology of art contribute to the broader sociological understanding of phenomena such as innovation or organization?

This session invites scholars to reflect on why sociological theorists should be reading the sociology of art and, in turn, why sociologists of the arts should be reading sociological theory.


Uses and misuses of the arts in the public sphere I


Uses and misuses of the arts in the public sphere II




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International Sociological Association
November 2012