Rosenblum, B. 1978. “Style as a Social Process.”

Rosenblum, Barbara. 1978. “Style as a Social Process.” American Sociological Review 43 (June): 422-438.

Comparison of type of medium’s impact on how photographers’ technical/aesthetic style and license varies, based on structural processes. The production and analysis of material culture. Notes the difficulty of sociologists making strong comment on art object itself – requires lexicon of medium studied, stylistic knowledge. Rosenblum argues that these knowledges are essential to develop if we are to study the sociology of style. “We must pay attention to the content and structure of art products if we are to understand how social processes shape material culture” (422; see also Kroeber 1948, Wolff 1975).
Commodification of art products in capitalist societies (Baxandall 1972; Burns and Burns 1973; Fischer 1963) – Marxist interpretations
Stylistic differences between these products are evident in their composition, layout, content, how labor is divided to create them, who is responsible for them, what sort of processes the photo undergoes, what sort of messages are articulated by them, the power that is exchanged in the creation of them (who contracts these photos? Who has the last say?), the method in which they are created
Rationalization and “nationalization” – the dropping of “local and idiosyncratic conventions”, or incorporations into larger forms of media (Hennessey 1975); Martorella (1975) demonstrates connection between economics, cultural products, social distribution

Baxandall, Lee 1972 Radical Perspectives in the Arts. Middlesex: Pelican Books.
Burns, Elizabeth and Tom Burns 1973 Sociology of Literature and Drama. Middlesex: Penguin.
Fischer, Ernest 1963 The Necessity of Art; A Marxist Approach. Baltimore: Penguin.
Hennessy, Thomas J. 1975 “The nationalization of jazz, 1929-1935: pattern for popular culture.” Unpublished paper.
Kroeber, Alfred L. 1948 Anthropology: Culture Patterns and Pro-cesses. New York: Harcourt, Brace.
Martorella, Roseanne 1977 The Relationship between Box-Office and Repertoire: The Case of Opera. Sociologi-cal Quarterly 18:354-66.
Wolff, Janet 1975 Hermeneutic Philosophy and the Sociology of Art. London: Routledge.


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