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Title: Weber, Art, and Social Theory
Authors: Scaff, Lawrence A.
Keywords: Weber, Maxartsociology
Issue Date: 2005
Publisher: EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste
Source: Lawrence A. Scaff, "Weber, Art, and Social Theory", in: Etica & Politica / Ethics & Politics, VII (2005) 2, pp. 1-26.
Series/Report no.: Etica & Politica / Ethics & Politics
VII (2005) 2
Max Weber’s contribution to cultural sociology has received insufficient attention, due to the unfinished character of his work and its reception. This paper investigates aspects of his contribution in relation to the field of art, broadly conceived, and in terms of the uses of his ideas by historians of art and design, such as T. J. Clark. Weber’s social theory considers art from two perspectives: the relative autonomy of cultural and artistic forms and modes of expression, and the social construction of works of art and culture. From the latter point of view technics and the technical become important factors in a double sense: The technologies of modern civilization external to art shape the “spirit” of art and its contents, and development in art proceeds as an effort to solve technical problems internal to the art form itself. Examples from painting, architecture and music illustrate the relationships. It is these perspectives that characterize the Weberian approach to art and invite further investigation as contributions to cultural sociology and social theory.
Type: Article
ISSN: 1825-5167
Appears in Collections:Etica & Politica / Ethics & Politics (2005) VII/2

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