Actors and Activists: Performance, Politics, and Exchange - download pdf or read online

By David A. Schlossman

ISBN-10: 0815332688

ISBN-13: 9780815332688

This scholarly paintings appears to be like on the factor of politics and function in the USA at the present time with specific consciousness paid to performances produced through activists, the NEA 4, and "Miss Saigon".

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Additional resources for Actors and Activists: Performance, Politics, and Exchange Among Social Worlds

Sample text

The State engages art worlds when it regulates property (as in the case of a contract or copyright dispute), when it responds to complaints that artists are creating a nuisance, or when it intervenes directly in the creation of art. When the State intervenes directly, it may support artistic work financially in a general desire to enhance the nation's reputation, or it may support only a certain kind of art, thereby "censoring" others through lack of support. Moreover, the State has a vested interest in "the propensity of its citizens to mobilize or be mobilized for collective action" and understands that both "high" and "popular" art affect the mobilization of citizens (Becker, Art Worlds 166).

Contemporary symbolic interaction offers an understanding of self and Exchange Between Art Worlds and Political Worlds 35 society as developing out of human interaction, as opposed to pre-existing "structure," a process that nevertheless remains inherently fraught and political. Symbolic interaction constitutes a broad field crossing the disciplines of sociology, psychology, and, to some extent, anthropology; I don't pretend to encompass the entire field here, but rather introduce interactionist ideas that are fundamental to my study because they offer tools for understanding performance's role in social processes.

Exchange Between A r t Worlds and Political Worlds I begin by offering a number of admittedly unwieldy terms to define the relationship between politics and performance. Even when considered individually, the words "politics" and "performance" elude easy definition. At the risk of appearing to rationalize a leaden prose style, I argue that cumbersome terminology is necessary if one wishes to avoid semantic quandaries. Another prefatory note on terminology: Contemporary scholars are frequently accused of resorting to jargon when they use terms such as "ideology" and "hegemony," a charge leveled especially by those hostile to attention to politics in scholarship (James Bowman, for example, goes so far as to ridicule as jargon terms including "status quo").

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Actors and Activists: Performance, Politics, and Exchange Among Social Worlds by David A. Schlossman


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