Volker Kirchberg, Tasos Zembylas: The Social Organization of Arts – A Theoretical Compendium


In recent decades, social and economic changes have brought about a growing awareness of the role of art and culture in society. As a result, scholars have turned their attention to a sociological view of arts, developing hermeneutic approaches and conducting empirical research that have led to a wealth of insights into the organization of arts. These studies of the creation, production, distribution, evaluation and consumption of arts are clearly sociological, but they include approaches from other disciplines, notably arts management studies and cultural policy research. Volker Kirchberg and Tasos Zembylas critically discuss seven major theories of the social organization of arts in Western societies, with the aim of encouraging further research and theoretical developments.

Publication: forthcoming on 27 September, 2024


About the Authors

Volker Kirchberg is Professor for Sociology of the Arts at Leuphana University Lüneburg in Germany. His research fields are sociology of arts and culture, organizational arts sociology, studies of museums and society, and urban sociology. He has been section head and board member of the international sociological research networks of the European Sociological Association and of the International Sociological Association, as well as of the Association of Cultural Management Studies (of the German-speaking countries). His recent research interest lies in the interfaces of arts & culture, cities, and cultural sustainability.

Tasos Zembylas has been Professor for Cultural Institutions Studies at the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna since 2003. Zembylas is member of the Advisory Board of the Research Network Sociology of Arts (European Sociological Association) and founding member of the Research Network on Implicit Knowledge (Forschungsnetzwerk Implizites Wissen). His research specializations include the sociology of artistic practices, public cultural policies, and the institutional analysis of arts.