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Sociology of Media and Arts - presentation

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Anouk Mols

on 5 February 2014

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Transcript of Sociology of Media and Arts - presentation

Careers, work and reputation
Sociology of Culture, Media and the Arts
Iris Segers - Liza Bakaeva - Anouk Mols
Inequality in the creative industries
Body imaging in the art fields
Charting gender: The succes of female acts in the U.S. mainstream recording market, 1940-1990
Timothy J. Dowd, PhD
Maureen Blyler †
Research in the Sociology of Organizations, 2005
Department of Sociology
Emory University, Atlanta

Research on music, media, culture,
formal organizations, work and industry
Assistant Professor
Department of Sociology
Emory University, Atlanta

Research on intersections of culture,
gender, and organizations
Research on organizations,
economic sociology
Kathleen Liddle, PhD
Looking for work in creative industries policy
Research in the International Journal of Cultural Policy, 2009
Mark Banks, PhD
Reader in Sociology
Faculty of Social Sciences
Open University, UK

Research on cultural and creative industries,
work and identity, media and popular culture,
cultural policy and cities
David Hesmondhalgh, PhD
Head of Institute; Director of the Media Industries Research Centre, UK

Research on media/cultural/creative industries
music, media work, employment,
media and cultural policy
From the Armory to academia: Careers and reputations of early modern artists in the United States
Poetics, 2009
Laura Braden, PhD
Assistant Professor
Arts and Culture Studies
Erasmus University

Research on the historical development
of artistic careers
Directeur de recherche au Centre National
de la Recherche Scientifique

Research on stratification of taste, mass culture and inequalities, cultural democracy, lifestyles, artistic careers
Philippe Coulangeon, PhD
Socio­logist and musi­co­logist
Maître de confé­rences
l’Université Paris Sor­bonne

Research on sociology of music and arts
Hyacinthe Ravet
Centre de Sociology du
Travail et des Arts

Research on the artistic and techno-artistic market, methodology of social sciences, cultural practices
Ionela Roharik
Gender differentiated effect of time in performing arts professions: Musicians, actors and dancers in contemporary France
Poetics, 2005
Gender inequality
job uncertainty
low pay
few have real success
Why is working in the creative industries harder for women?

Industry-level factors

Historical factors
Personal factors
Rise of women?
Hanna Rosin: Rise of women
"In sociological terms, an individual who occupies a position that allows him or her to control access to goods, information, and services.
Such power often extends well beyond the formal authority of the gatekeeper's official position."
- Oxford dictionary of the Social Sciences, 2002
in art history
Exhibition at Armory Show
Exhibition at MoMA
Represented in text books
21th century
Predictors of textbook inclusion:
Posthumous armory exhibition
MoMA exhibitions
Gatekeepers function of MoMA
Certain types of artists
Influential curatorial decisions
Questions for Laura Braden
Contemporary gatekeepers in the modern art world nowadays?
Role of the internet?
US versus EU?
in creative industries
Problematic gate keeping
Creative labour
"is geared to the production of original or distinctive commodities that are primarily aesthetic and/or symbolic-expressive, rather than utilitarian and functional."
Policy discourse
Behind the discourse
- Hirsch 1972
cited by Banks & Hesmondhalgh, 2009
Lack of information on creative industry processes and problems
Creative labour is 'Good work'

Personal freedom
Intrinsically leisure-like, pleasurable and fun
Focus on self made celebrities
Anyone can 'make it'
Creative economy
Spheres of production are threatened in their autonomy
Neglect of problems will lead to greater harm
in the fashion world
Conclusion and Discussion
- Hirsch

“Public opinion, professional ethics, and job security
all require that institutional gatekeepers maintain independent standards of judgement and quality rather than endorse only those items which cultural organizations elect to promote”
Human vs. algorithmic
Which is more hidden?
Which is more harmful?
Social structures determine practices and representations of agents, but, in turn, practices, produced by agents, reproduce and transform the structure. Determining effect social structures have on practices and agents’ beliefs takes place while agents themselves produce and reproduce them. Due to the fact that agents can’t actualize their practices independently from certain objective structures, they are forced to act in the forms of already existing social relations, so they can only reproduce or change them. Thus, subjective structuring of social reality is subordinate to the objective structuring.
How it works
Working in the creative industries
Music industry

The gender gap
Women receive less wage, even when controlling for

working hours
Vertical segregation
Horizontal segregation
Aging: women benefit less from experience
The 'glass ceiling'
"But we already have a girl singer"
Concentration - diversity
Production logics

Gatekeeping - MoMa favours male artists from the Armory
• systems of durable, transposable dispositions
• matrix o f perceptions, appreciations and actions
• principles of the generation and structuring of practices and representations

Ideas of race and femininity
Service that produces a cultural idea
Inevitable choices?
Body in the Ballet
Emphasis on bodily state of being: particular type of body and also in the mastery of the dancing body. Habitus can be fractured by epiphanies such as injury and ageing. Young dancers invariably feel much older than they look.
Commercial modeling
Commercial models, affectionately referred to by bookers as ‘‘money girls’’ are just that: they tend to look like, and earn, a million bucks. Working definition of a commercial model:
(1) a woman considered sexually attractive by the layperson in Kansas;
or (2) a woman your mom in middle America considers pretty.

Editorial modeling
Editorial models have an unusual—or to use a term that comes up often in modeling—an ‘‘edgy’’ look. Edgy look is younger, whiter, and appears as radically skinny
Body in the Ballet
Training the body invariably increases the physical capital of a person. It also seems likely that the inevitable decline of physical capital of the ageing body may be more difficult for ‘athletes’, such as dancers, to accept than people where ‘the body’ is less important in the formation of their self-identity (like, say, academics). A move from the use of physical capital to cultural capital: a deep and embodied knowledge of ballet that comes from being steeped in the balletic social world
Commercial modeling
Those who produce with an eye towards pleasing mass consumers in ‘‘large-scale production’’ embrace the pursuit of short-term economic capital
Editorial modeling
Those who produce for other producers in ‘‘restricted production’’ reject the immediate pursuit of economic gain and focus on the accumulation of prestige, or symbolic capital.
• relatively closed and autonomous system of social relations
• network of relationships between objective positions
• exist independently from individual consciousness and will
• characterized by specific mechanisms of capitalization of its inherent legitimate means
• a kind of a competitive market with different types of capital (economic, cultural, social, symbolic)

Ballet was seen as a vocation, not as a job or occupation.
Today ballet is a middle-class activity.
Commercial modeling
Relation to the consumer: he has the power to dictate the appropriate looks. In the end, a commercial job has been executed well when it leads to their boss’ satisfaction, and ultimately, sales of the product.
Objective structure is the following: models and their looks are provided for large-scale clothes manufacturers, and their images are put on the advertisements. That is why looks should be “normal” and “safe”, must resonate target audience and have profitability.

Editorial modeling
Producers are trying to impress each other. There are certain conventions, that are more practical. Objective structure is deeply embedded and is too hard to be changed. Faced with heightened uncertainty and a general lack of accountability,
editorial producers are entangled in an institutionalized production system, where the goods produced—the models—are embedded in an historically shaped and commerce-driven network of agents, designers, and editors.
The modeling market thus is a highly institutionalized context where decisions are guided more by imitation, routine and rules of thumb than rational calculation

• the habitus in action, history turned into nature
• on the one hand the practices are immediate actions, communications, acts of thinking, and on the other they are structural mediations, social forms, regardless of which social action is not possible
[(Habitus) (Capital)] + Field = Practice

What practices can be distinguished in the fields of ballet, commercial and editorial modeling? (from the articles)

Uncertainty - Bounded rationality and logic of safety
Wartime shortages
Industry recession
Women's movement
Do they matter? Nah.
Racial inequality
Discrimination in the modeling industry
"High-end ethnic means that the only thing that is not white about you is that you are black."
Bourdieu again: field theory
"Colourblind racism"
Routines and conventions in fashion industry
"Market-specific version of femininity"

Banks, M. & Hesmondhalgh, D. (2009). Looking for work in creative industries policy. International Journal of Cultural Policy, 15(94), 415-430.

Braden, L. (2009). From the Armory to Academia: Careers andReputations of Early Modern Artists in the United States. Poetics, 37(5-6), 439-445. doi: 10.1016/j.poetic.2009.09.004

Coulangeon, P., Ravet, H., & Roharik, I. (2005). Gender Differentiated Effect of Time in Performing Arts Professions: Musicians, Actors and Dancers in Contemporary France. Poetics, 33(5-6), 369-387. doi: 10.1016/j.poetic.2005.09.005

Dowd, T.J., Liddle, K., & Blyler, M. (2005). Charting gender: The success of female acts in the U.S. mainstream recording market, 1940-1990. Research in the Sociology of Organizations, 23, 81-123. doi: 10.1016/S0733-558X(05)23003-3

Hirsch, P.M. (1977). Processing fads and fashions: An organization-set analysis of cultural industry systems. American Journal of Sociology, 77:4, p. 654.

Mears, A. (2010). Size zero high-end ethnic: Cultural production and the reproduction of culture in fashion modeling. Poetics, 38(1), 21-46. doi: 10.1016/j.poetic.2009.10.002

Wainwright, S.P. & Turner, B.S. (2006). ‘Just Crumbling to Bits’? An Exploration of the Body, Ageing, Injury and Career in Classical Ballet Dancers. Sociology, 40(2), 237-255. doi: 10.1177/0038038506062031

So what do we do?
UK gov creative industries policy

linked to Treasury (aha!)
developing creative 'national brand'
needs of employers
overlooks inequality
‘Just Crumbling to Bits’? An Exploration of the
Body, Ageing, Injury and Career in Classical
Ballet Dancers
Sociology 2006
Steven P.Wainwright
Head of Department, Professor of Sociology
Sociology and Communications,
Brunel University

Medical Sociology and Science
and Technology Studies
Medical Humanities
Sociology of the Body
Bryan S.Turner
Director of the Religion and Society Research Centre and Presidential Professor of Sociology at The Graduate Center at the City University of New York, USA

The sociology of religion, citizenship and human rights, and social and political theory.
Size zero high-end ethnic: Cultural production and the
reproduction of culture in fashion modeling
Poetics 2010
Ashley Mears
Assistant Professor

PhD, New York University (2009)

The intersections of culture and markets, focus on how gender, race, and class inequalities inform the production and change of culture
Notice the main transformations of comedian career and describe them in the terms of Bourdieu theory.

What was your
dream profession as a child?
Write down:
Who would be gatekeepers in your field?
Which inequality problems you could have to face?
What habitus, capital, field factors would be
difficult to overcome?
Compare Rosin's arguments to
this week's readings. For instance, look at:

1. Rosin's view on the 'new economy' and
the skills needed for this economy
2. Salaries and job security for men/women
3. The glass ceiling

Do you agree with authors of this
week's readings, or Rosin?
Maybe both?

oversupply of labor
irregular work
short term-contracts
little job-protection
low wages

Mears: harmful cultural representation of women
Socially damaging impact on workers
Discrepancy between external factors and
the values of cultural organizations
Full transcript