"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
Sociology of the Arts is a comprehensive overview of the sociology of art and an authoritative work of scholarship by a leading expert in the field. The book synthesizes the various theoretical models of art sociology, and provides empirical examples as well as stimulating exemplars of sociological work on the arts. Case studies of art works are from both ends of the cultural spectrum: fine arts (theatre, dance, symphony, opera) and popular arts (Hollywood movies, pop music, pulp fiction, TV drama, comedy and advertising). These studies, combined with the book's considerable theoretical breadth and insight, explore how art is created, distributed, received, consumed, and used by people who experience it. The book also discusses the newly emerging question of the art object itself, and the meaning of art works. Sociology of the Arts is a clearly written, well-organized synthesis for students, and a unique contribution to the field. This international selection of perspectives, empirical research, and case studies makes this book essential for teaching and learning the sociology of art, and will be of great interest to scholars.