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Classification in Art
American Sociological Review
Vol. 52, No. 4 (Aug., 1987), pp. 440-455
Published by: American Sociological Association
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2095290
Page Count: 16
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A framework is proposed to analyze the relationships between social structure, patterns of artistic consumption and production, and the ways in which artistic genres are classified. This framework helps to integrate findings of consumption surveys and to explain the emergence of new artistic genres as a form of ritual classification. Societies' artistic classification systems vary along four dimensions: differentiation, hierarchy, universality, and boundary strength. These dimensions are affected by formal characteristics of social structure, the organization of educational systems, and internal relations among cultural dimensions. The dynamics of ritual classification are mediated according to whether artistic production is carried out through commercial, professional, or bureaucratic means.
American Sociological Review © 1987 American Sociological Association