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Symbolic Interaction and Cultural Studies$
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Howard S. Becker and Michal M. McCall

Print publication date: 1990

Print ISBN-13: 9780226041179

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: February 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226041056.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 17 September 2021

Art Worlds: Developing the Interactionist Approach to Social Organization

Art Worlds: Developing the Interactionist Approach to Social Organization

(p.148) 6 Art Worlds: Developing the Interactionist Approach to Social Organization
Symbolic Interaction and Cultural Studies

Samuel Gilmore

University of Chicago Press

Writing about symbolic interaction and the arts, one becomes immersed in issues of social organization. The development of an interactionist approach to social structure has greatly benefited from research in the arts, particularly the effort to construct a macro-level interactionist conception of society. An emphasis on an integrated micro-macro analysis is the distinguishing feature of the interactionist approach to social organization. Social worlds are useful as an interactionist unit of social organization because of the dual emphasis on structural and cultural elements. This dual emphasis is illustrated by artistic participants' group construct of an “art world.” This chapter reviews studies in the arts, clustered into production, distribution, and consumption stages, that are of interest to interactionists if not actually done by interactionist researchers. It treats these stages as a technical separation of activities, often not so clearly differentiated socially. It prefers to define the “production” of culture in a generic sense, applicable to all three technical stages including “processes of creation, manufacture, marketing, distribution, exhibiting, inculcation, evaluation, and consumption.”

Keywords:   symbolic interaction, arts, social organization, art world, production, distribution, consumption, culture

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