INTRODUCTION

The opposition of art and society is one of the great commonplaces of social theory: on the one hand, works of art (often, perhaps usually, literature, but encompassing music, visual art, drama, dance, and the rest) with all their internal complexities, mysteries, and aesthetic qualities; on the oth...

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Published in: Antonio Candido p. ix
Main Author: Howard S. Becker
Format: Book Chapter
Language: English
Published: Princeton University Press 07-01-2014
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Summary: The opposition of art and society is one of the great commonplaces of social theory: on the one hand, works of art (often, perhaps usually, literature, but encompassing music, visual art, drama, dance, and the rest) with all their internal complexities, mysteries, and aesthetic qualities; on the other, the society in which these works came into existence and in which people read and respond to them.¹ Only extreme formalists expect to understand works of art fully without referring to the organized social context they exist in. Only extreme sociologizers expect to understand those works completely by analyzing the conditions of