Course Schedule


Theories of Arts Organizations - An Empirical Study of Their Practicability (Seminar)

Dozent/in: Volker Kirchberg

wöchentlich | Montag | 14:15 - 15:45 | 18.10.2021 - 04.02.2022 | C 40.153
wöchentlich | Montag | 16:15 - 17:45 | 18.10.2021 - 04.02.2022 | C 40.153

Inhalt: This 4-hours-per-week-seminar is dedicated to the study of concrete processes of cultural and arts organization. Arts organizations are structures and processes of producing, distributing, and considering the consumption of arts and culture. The focus will be twofold in this seminar. At first, students will study (learn and discuss) a specific set of often canonized "theories of arts production" mostly from a sociological perspective. Regardless of specific cultural organizations and art genres, these theories propose (a) certain general structures and conventions, (b) certain dynamics and processes, and (c) certain micro-, meso- and macro-level contexts and reward (or punishment) systems, plus an mutual affecting interplay of coercing structures for and liberating agency potentials in the arts, that produce arts and culture in organizations. Having acquired this set of knowledge, we will then look at a few major different arts institutions in the city of Hamburg, and test these theories. We will study their applicability, practicability, and implementability in the field i.e. in real art world. This requires a certain capability in empirical data gathering and analysis which we will also discuss. As a tentative study frame we will use the middle-range theories of Howard Becker (art worlds), Pierre Bourdieu (field theory), Richard Peterson (production-of-culture approach) and neo-institutionalism (DiMaggio & Powell). Hypothesis derived from these theories will be tested with, e.g., qualitative semi-structures interviews (as well as, e.g., document analysis, participatory observation and/or focus groups) and analysed by means of systematic contents analysis. Possible Hamburg arts organizations that might cooperate with us are, e.g., "Kampnagel", "Museum der Arbeit", "MARKK", "Ensemble Resonanz" and/or "Museum Kunst & Gewerbe".