Document Type

Thesis

Degree

M.A.

Degree Granting Department

Sociology

Major Professor

Shawn C. Bingham

Keywords

Aesthetics, Art, Art Education, Artist, Culture Industry, Narrative

Abstract

The current study will investigate how identities and roles of the artist converge with competing identities and roles fostered at the institutional level within an art college as revealed through the marketing literature that they produce to attract students and business partnerships. The sociological focus for this proposal is the tension between art as a creative expressive endeavor and art as a commodity that has entered into social transactions unintended by the original expression of the artist. The researcher documents and describes (via narrative analysis) how an art school negotiates competing relationships between the pressures to teach and promote art for the sake of aesthetic and personal value (autonomy) versus the pressure to teach and promote art for school subsidized market values.

The data for the current study will come from the Ringling College of Art and Design website and brochures from the school that advertise the educational opportunities available to prospective students. The analyses will focus on the particular language, cultural codes, and stories that the school uses to describe the 1) identity and purpose of the institution, 2) types of students (ideal students) they are looking for to attend the school, 3) artistic opportunities open to students, 4) types of collaborations with organizations/businesses outside of the institution, and 5) goals, and production/consumption of art.

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