Production of culture
[Below is a recent list Peterson wrote outlining the production of culture perspective. You can view it as an update to his ARS with N Anand. Pete wrote it to accompany a talk he gave and circulated it to some friends. I copy-edited/tagged it and am posting it with permission. If you know links for any of the non-tagged citations email me or put them in the comments and I will update the post. –Gabriel]
| Richard A. Peterson |
Examples of works written in the spirit of the Production of Culture Perspective
Created for the working conference
Euro-Pop: The Production and Consumption of a European Culture
Villa Vigoni, Lake Como, Italy 9-10 June, 2009
Richard A. Peterson
A. The production of culture perspective focuses on the ways in which the content of symbolic elements of culture are shaped by the systems within which they are created, distributed, evaluated, taught, and preserved. Initially practitioners of this perspective focused on the fabrication of expressive-symbol elements of culture such as art works, scientific research reports, popular culture, religious practices, legal judgments, journalism, and other parts of what are now often called “the culture industries”. More recently the perspective has been successfully applied to a range of quite different situations where the manipulation of symbols is a by-product rather than the purpose of the collective activity.
In the 1970s, when it emerged as a self-conscious perspective, it challenged the then-dominant idea that culture and social structure mirror each other. A symbiotic relationship between a singular functioning social system and its coherent overarching culture was then embraced by a wide range of theorists of contemporary society including most Marxists who distinguished between material structure versus superstructural values on the one hand and functionalists — among them Talcott Parsons. The former asserted that those who controlled the means of producing wealth shaped culture to fit their own class interests; the latter believed that a set of monolithic abstract values determined the shape of social structure. Breaking from these mirror views, the production perspective — like most of the other contemporary perspectives in cultural sociology — view both culture and social structure as elements in an ever-changing patchwork. In this view then culture is seen as not so much society-wide and virtually unchanging as it is situational and capable of rapid change.
A number of bellwether studies of the 1950s, ’60s and early ’70s exemplified aspects of what would become the production perspective. [See, for example, the studies discussed in section C. below.] Such studies illustrate the emerging production perspective in so far as they: a. Focus on the expressive aspects of culture rather than values, b. Explore the processes of symbol production, c. Use the tools of analysis initially developed in the study of organizations, occupations, networks, communities, and symbolic interaction, and d. Make possible comparisons across the diverse cites of culture creation.
While there was a scatter of provocative studies, not until publication in 1976 and 1978 of collections entitled The Production of Culture, edited by Richard A. Peterson and Lewis A. Coser respectively, did scholars collectively recognize that these and other scattered studies illustrated elements of culture being shaped in the mundane processes of their production. The empirical studies were drawn from sites as diverse as science laboratories, artist communities, and country music radio stations. Some authors have found it convenient to understand the dynamics of production in terms of six constraints or facets which include law and regulation, technology, industrial (field) organization, organizational form, career dynamics, and markets. (See sections D. and E. below.)
B. The most recent summary statement of the perspective (from which the statement above is largely drawn) is:
- Peterson, Richard A. and N. Anand 2004. “The Production of Culture Perspective.” Annual Review of Sociology. 30: 311-334.
C. Thirteen works that were very useful in the early formulation of one or all facets of the production perspective. Include:
- Mills, C. Wright. 1951. White Collar: The American Middle Class. New York: Oxford University Press.
- Selznick, Phillip. 1952. The Organizational Weapon: A Study of Bolshevik Strategy and Tactics. New York: McGraw-Hill.
- Stinchcombe, Arthur. 1959. “Bureaucratic and Craft Administration of Production.” Administrative Science Quarterly. 4:168-187.
- White, Lynn, Jr. 1962. Medieval Technology and Social Change. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
- Jacques, Ellul. 1964. The Technological Society. New York: Knopf.
- White, Harrison C. and Cynthia A. White. 1965. Canvases and Careers. New York: Wiley.
- Bourdieu, Pierre. 1967. “Systems of Education and Systems of Thought.” International Social Science Journal 19:338-358.
- Hirsch, Paul. 1972. “Processing Fads and Fashions.” American Journal of Sociology 77:639-659.
- Molotch, Harvey and Marilyn Lester. 1974 “News as Purposive Behavior.” American Sociological Review 39: 101-112.
- Crane, Diana. 1976. “Reward Systems in Art, Science and Religion.” American Behavioral Scientist 19:719-734.
- Peterson, Richard A. 1976. “The production of culture: a prolegomenon.” Pp. 7-22 in Richard A. Peterson, editor. The Production of Culture. Beverly Hills, CA: Sage.
- Becker, Howard S. 1978. “Arts and Crafts.” American Journal of Sociology 83
- Griswold, Wendy. 1981. “American Character and the American Novel.” American Journal of Sociology 86:740-65.
Highlights the vital causes of the shift from the entrepreneurial to the organizational (white collar) middle class and the ramifying consequences of the change.
Shows how the structural form of organization affects its cultural effectiveness.
Demonstrates that the structural organization of work determines the sorts of products that can be produced.
Chronicles the central role of changing technology in effecting productive systems.
Lays out the many ways in which differences in techniques rather than ideology underlie changes in society and culture.
Shows the close link between the organizational forms of artistic forms and both careers and the art produced.
Shows that knowledge does not depend on the ‘spirit of the age’ but on the particular habitus learned in specialized ‘intellectual clans’.
Demonstrates that changes in popular music can be understood by examining the structure of the music industry.
News people do not simply report the news, but they decide what events should be reported and how they should be framed.
Shows that reward systems available to cultural workers shape the sorts of cultural products produced.
Shows that the nature of cultural objects produced is a function of the expectations of the work environment in which they work.
Humanists asserted that the many 19c American-authored novels about man-against-the-wilderness reflected an element of The American Character. In fact parlor romances were the most favored novels but the workings of copyright law account for the paucity of American writers of this genre.
D. The following are works that touch ALL six facets of the Production Perspective.
- Bourdieu, Pierre. 1993. The Field of Cultural Production: Essays on Art and Literature. New York: Columbia University Press [Especially Part 1].
- Crane, Diana. 1992. The Production of Culture. Newbury Park CA: Sage.
- Manuel, Peter. 1993. Cassette Culture. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. (though unaware of the PofC perspective)
- Peterson, Richard A. 1990. “Why 1955? Explaining the advent of rock music.” Popular Music 9:97-116.
- Ryan, John. 1985. The Production of Culture in the Music Industry: The ASCAP/BMI Controversy. Landham, MD: University Press of America.
E. The following are works that use the Production of Culture paradigm though not all reference the perspective per se. Citations are grouped together by the facet which is of prime importance. A number deal with several other facets, so browse accordingly. The references cited below should be considered illustrative and not definitive or all inclusive. Please send suggestions for additions to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks to John Ryan, Paul DiMaggio, Shyon Baumann, N. Anand, Loic Wacquant and Gabriel Rossman who contributed suggestions for the list. Thanks also to Rossman for editing the list and adding the URLs. Baumann noted that “It’s tough to step back and identify when the PofC perspective is being used because it seems like a (the?) natural sociological stance today.”
LAW and REGULATION
- Barron, Anne. 2006. “Copyright’s Musical Work.” Social and Legal Studies 15:101-127.
- Castaneda, Mari. 2007. “The Complicated Transition to Broadcast Digital Television in the United States.” Television & New Media 8:91-106.
- Gillespie, Tarleton. 2006. “Designed to ‘effectively frustrate’: copyright, technology and the agency of users.” New Media & Society 8:651-669.
- Hernandez-Reguant, Ariana. 2004. “Copyrighting Che: Art and Authorship under Cuban Late Socialism.” Public Culture 16:1-30.
- Klimis, George Michael and Roger Wallis. 2009. “Copyright and Entrepreneurship: Catalyst or Barrier?” Information, Communication & Society 12:267-286.
- Leonard, Sean. 2005. “Progress against the Law: ‘Anime’ and Fandom, with the Key to the Globalization of Culture.” International Journal of Cultural Studies 8:281-305.
- Leyshon, Andrew, Peter Webb, Shaun French, Nigel Thrift, and Louise Crewe. 2005. “On the reproduction of the musical economy after the Internet.” Media, Culture & Society 27:177-209.
- Rueschemeyer, Marilyn. 1993. “State Patronage in the German Democratic Republic: Artistic and Political Change in a State Socialist Society.” Pp. 209-234 in Paying the Piper: Causes and Consequences of Art Patronage, J. H. Balfe editor. Urbana, Illinois: University of Illinois Press.
- Rushton, Michael. 2003. “Transaction cost politics and the National Endowment for the Arts.” Poetics 31:133-150.
- Starr, Paul. 2004. The Creation of Media: The Political Origins of Modern Communication. New York: Basic Books.
- Beniger, James R. 1986. The Control Revolution: Technological and Economic Origins of the Information Society. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
- Eisenstein, Elizabeth L. 1997. The Printing Press as an Agent of Change. New York: Cambridge University Press.
- Frank W. 2007. “Analyzing the breakthrough of rock ‘n’ roll (1930-1970) Multi-regime interaction and reconfiguration in the multi-level perspective.” Technological Forecasting and Social Change 74:1411-1431.
- Goodall, Howard. 2000. Big Bangs: The Story of Five Discoveries that Changed Musical History. London: Random House.
- Grindstaff L and Joseph Turow. 2006. “Video cultures: Television sociology in the “new TV” age.” Annual Review of Sociology 32:103-125.
- Harrison, Anthony Kwame. 2006. “Cheaper than a CD, plus we really mean it’: Bay Area underground hip hop tapes as subcultural artifacts.” Popular Music 25:283-301.
- Hesmondhalgh, David. 2006 “Digitalization, Copyright and the Music Industries.” In Golding, P. and Murdock, G. (eds.) Unpacking Digital Dynamics: Participation, Control and Exclusion. New York: Hampton Press.
- Klinenberg, Eric. 2005. “Convergence: News Production in a Digital Age.” The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 597:48-64.
- Peterson, Richard A. and John Ryan. 2004. “The Disembodied Muse: Music in the Internet Age.” Pp. 223-236 in Society Online: The Internet in Context. P. N. Howard and S. Jones editors. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
- Robinson, Francis. 1993. “Technology and Religious Change: Islam and the Impact of Print.” Modern Asian Studies 27:229-251.
- Schumacher, Thomas G. 1995. “‘This Is a Sampling Sport’: Digital Sampling, Rap Music and the Law in Cultural Production.” Media, Culture & Society 17:253-273.
- Theberge, Paul. 2004. “The Network Studio: Historical and Technological Paths to a New Ideal in Music Making.” Social Studies of Science 34:759-781.
FIELD (INDUSTRY) and ORGANIZATION
- Anand, N. and BC. Jones. 2008. “Tournament rituals, category dynamics, and field configuration: The case of the Booker Prize.” Journal of Management Studies 45:1036-1060.
- Anand, N and Mary R Watson. 2004. “Tournament Rituals in the Evolution of Fields: The Case of the Grammy Awards.” Academy of Management Journal 47:59-80.
- Bielby, William T. and Denise D. Bielby. 1999. “Organizational Mediation of Project-Based Labor Markets: Talent Agencies and the Careers of Screenwriters.” American Sociological Review 64:64-85.
- Bourdieu, Pierre and Jan Claude Passeron. 1977. Reproduction in Society and Culture. Beverly Hills, CA: Sage.
- DiMaggio, Paul J. 1991. “Constructing an Organizational Field as a Professional Project: U.S. Art Museums, 1920-1940.” Pp. 267-292 in The New Institutionalism in Organizational Analysis. Walter W. Powell and Paul J. DiMaggio, editors. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
- Ennis, Philip H. 1992. The Seventh Stream: The Emergence of Rocknroll. Hanover, NH: Wesleyan University Press.
- Greve, Henrich R., Jo-Ellen Pozner, and Hayagreeva Rao. 2006. “Vox Populi: Resource Partitioning, Organizational Proliferation, and the Cultural Impact of the Insurgent Microradio Movement.” American Journal of Sociology 112:802-837.
- Hesmondhalgh, David. 1996. “Flexibility, Post-Fordism and the Music Industries.” Media, Culture & Society 18:469-488.
- Hesmondhalgh, David. 1999. “Indie: The Institutional Politics and Aesthetics of a Popular Music Genre.” Cultural Studies 13:34-61.
- Isaac, Larry. 2008. “Counterframes and Allegories of Evil Characterizations of Labor by Gilded Age Elites.” Work and Occupations 35: 388-421.
- Lee, Steve and Richard A. Peterson. 2004. “Internet-based Virtual Music Scenes: The Case of P2 in Alt.Country Music.” Pp.187-204 in Andy Bennett and Richard A. Peterson, editors. Music Scenes: Local, Translocal, and Virtual. Nashville: Vanderbilt University Press.
- Lena, Jennifer. 2006. “Social Context and Musical Content of Rap Music: 1979-1995.” Social Forces 85:479-498.
- Lizardo, Omar. 2009. “The Comparative Analysis of Organizational Forms: Considering Field and Ecological Approaches.” Research in the Sociology of Organizations. forthcoming.
- Lopes, Paul D. 1992. “Innovation and Diversity in the Popular Music Industry, 1969 to 1990.” American Sociological Review 57:56-71.
- Negus, Keith. 1999. Music Genres and Corporate Cultures. London: Routledge.
- Negus, Keith. 1999. “The Music Business and Rap: Between the Street and the Executive Suite.” Cultural Studies 13:488-508.
- Peterson, Richard A. 1997. Creating Country Music: Fabricating Authenticity. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Chapter 12 BB
- Peterson, Richard A. and David G. Berger. 1975. “Cycles in symbol production: the case of popular music.” American Sociological Review 40:158-173.
- Rossman, Gabriel. 2004. “Elites, Masses, and Media Blacklists: The Dixie Chicks Controversy.” Social Forces 83:61-79.
- Ryan, John and Michael Hughes. 2006. “Breaking the Decision Change: The Fate of Creativity in an Age of Self-Production.” In Cybersounds: Essays on Virtual Music Culture, M. D. Ayers editor. New York: Peter Lang.
- Ryan, J. and R. A. Peterson. 1982. “The product image: the fate of creativity in country music songwriting.” Annual Review of Communication 10:11.
- Sauder, Michael, and Wendy Nelson Espeland. 2009. “The Discipline of Rankings: Tight Coupling and Organizational Change.” American Sociological Review 74:63-82.
- Starr, Paul. 1982. The Social Transformation of American Medicine. New York: Harper Collins.
- Tuchman, Gaye. 1978. Making News. New York: Free Press.
- West, Emily 2007. “When you care enough to defend the very best: how the greeting card industry manages cultural criticism.” Media, Culture & Society 29:241-261.
- Bandelj, Nina. 2003. “How Method Actors Create Character Roles.” Sociological Forum 18:387-416.
- Bourdieu, Pierre. 1988. Homo Academicus.Berkeley: University of California Press.
- DeNora, Tia. 1997. Beethoven and the Construction of Genius. Berkeley: University of California Press.
- Fine, Gary Alan. 1992. “The culture of production: aesthetic choices and constraints in culinary work.” American Journal of Sociology 97:1268-1294.
- Fine, Gary A. 2003. “Crafting authenticity: the validation of identity in self-taught art.” Theory and Sociology 32:153-180.
- Gamson, Joshua. 1994. Claims to Fame: Celebrity in Contemporary America. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.
- Lang, Gladys Engel and Kurt Lang. 1993. “The rescue of Reputation: Re-Examining the Fate of American Women Etchers.” Current Research on Occupations and Professions 8:33-55.
- Lincoln, Anne E. and Michael Patrick Allen. 2004. “Double Jeopardy in Hollywood: Age and Gender in the Careers of Film Actors, 1926-1999.” Sociological Forum 19:611-631.
- Martin, Chase and Mark Deuze. 2009. “The Independent Production of Culture: A Digital Games Case Study.” International Journal of Cultural Studies 4:276-295.
- Martin, Peter J. 2006. “Musicians’ Worlds: Music-Making as a Collaborative Activity.” Symbolic Interaction 29:95-107.
- Menger, Pierre-Michel. 1999. “Artistic Labor Markets and Careers.” Annual Review of Sociology 25:541-574.
- Neff, Gina, Elizabeth Wissinger and Sharon Zukin 2005. “Entrepreneurial Labor among Cultural Producers: Cool Jobs in Hot Industries.” Social Semiotics 15:307-334
- Nooy, Wouter de. 2002. “The Dynamics of Artistic Prestige.” Poetics 30:147-167.
- Peterson, Richard A. and John Ryan. 1983. “Success, Failure and Anomie in Art and Craft Work.” Research in the Sociology of Work 2: 301-323.
- Rossman, Gabriel, Nicole Esparza, and Phillip Bonacich. 2010. “I’d Like to Thank the Academy, Team Spillovers, and Network Centrality.” American Sociological Review forthcoming.
- Ryan, John, and Richard A. Peterson. 1993. “Occupational and Organizational Consequences of the Digital Revolution in Music Making.” Current Research on Occupations and Professions 8:173-201.
- Uzzi, Brian and Jarrett Spiro. 2005. “Collaboration and Creativity: The Small World Problem.” American Journal of Sociology 11:447-504.
- Wong, Wendy Siuyi and Lisa M. Cuklanz. 2002. “Critiques of Gender Ideology: Women Comic Artists and Their Work in Hong Kong.” Journal of Gender Studies 11:253-266
- Wright, David. 2005. “Mediating Production and Consumption: Cultural Capital and ‘Cultural Workers’.” British Journal of Sociology 56:105-121.
- Zuckerman, Ezra W., Tai-Young Kim, Kalinda Ukanwa and James von Rittmann. 2003. “Robust Identities or Nonentities? Typecasting in the Feature-Film Labor Market.” American Journal of Sociology 108:1018-74.
- Anand, N. and Richard A. Peterson. 2000. “When Market Information Constitutes Fields: Sensemaking of Markets in the Commercial Music Industry.” Organization Science 11:270-284.
- Beverland, MB. 2005. “Crafting brand authenticity: The case of luxury wines.” Journal of Management Studies 42:1003-1029.
- Bielby, William T. and Denise D. Bielby. 1994. “‘All Hits Are Flukes’: Institutionalized Decision Making and the Rhetoric of Network Prime-Time Program Development.” American Journal of Sociology 99:1287-1313.
- Bourdieu, Pierre and Alain Darbel. 1997. The Love of Art: European Museums and their Public. New York: Wiley.
- Carducci, Vince. 2006. “Culture Jamming: A Sociological Perspective.” Journal of Consumer Culture 6:116-138.
- Dowd, Timothy J. and Engelstad Fredrik. 2003. “Structural Power and the Construction of Markets: The Case of Rhythm and Blues.” Comparative Social Research 21:147-201.
- English, James. 2005. The Economy of Prestige: Prizes, Awards, and the Circulation of Cultural Value. Cambridge Mass.: Harvard University Press.
- Jones, D. and Smith K. 2005. “Middle-earth meets New Zealand: Authenticity and location in the making of the Lord of the Rings.” Journal of Management Studies 42: 923-945.
- Kaplan, Danny. 2009. “The Songs of the Siren: Engineering National Time on Israeli Radio.” Cultural Anthropology 24:313-345.
- Lizardo, Omar and S. Skiles. “Highbrow omnivorousness on the small screen? Cultural industry systems and patterns of cultural choice in Europe.” Poetics 37: 1-23.
- Salganik, Matthew J, Peter Sheridan Dodds, and Duncan J. Watts. 2006. “An Experimental Study of Inequality and Unpredictability in an Artificial Cultural Market.” Science 311:854-856.
- Salganik Mathew J. and Duncan J. Watts. 2008. “Leading the Herd Astray: An Experimental Study of Self-fulfilling Prophecies in an Artificial Cultural Market.” Social Psychology Quarterly 71:338-355.
- Smith P, T. Phillips. 2006. “Collective belonging and mass media consumption: Unravelling how technological medium and cultural genre shape the national imaginings of Australians.” Sociological Review 54: 818-846.
- Thussu, Daya Kishan. 2007. “The `Murdochization’ of news? The case of Star TV in India.” Media, Culture & Society 29:593-611.
- Turow, Joseph. 2005. “Audience Construction and Culture Production: Marketing Surveillance in the Digital Age.” The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 597:103-121.
- White, Harrison. 1981. “Where Do Markets Come From?” American Journal of Sociology 87:517-547.
- Wieten, Jan and Mervi Pantti. 2005. “Obsessed with the Audience: Breakfast Television Revisited.” Media, Culture & Society 27:21-39.