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The Shape of Culture

The Shape of Culture
A Study of Contemporary Cultural Patterns in the United States


Part of American Sociological Association Rose Monographs

  • Date Published: October 1992
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521437936

£ 29.99

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About the Authors
  • This book systematically examines prevailing cultural patterns in contemporary American society. Using information on several thousands of cultural organisations, including elite ones (such as opera and chamber music companies) and popular cultural ones (such as cinemas and live rock concerts), Professor Blau examines the geography of culture, the changing demands for culture, the interdependencies among cultural organisations of different kinds, the nature of labour markets for artists, and the effects of arts subsidies on nonprofit cultural establishments over a ten year period. One of the major conclusions of the book is that the social conditions that support elite and popular culture are increasingly similar over time.

    Reviews & endorsements

    'Blau's study is a methodologically sophisticated, sociological examination of artistic production and consumption patterns in the larger metropolitan areas of the US … Blau demonstrates a thorough command of the literature. Some of her findings are surprising, and are contrary to much of the conventional wisdom of past and contemporary observers, whose conclusions lacked the kind of painstakingly gathered and skillfully analyzed empirical support provided by Blau.' Choice

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    Product details

    • Date Published: October 1992
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521437936
    • length: 220 pages
    • dimensions: 228 x 152 x 15 mm
    • weight: 0.336kg
    • contains: 5 b/w illus. 23 tables
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Culture as structure and meaning
    2. The American cultural landscape
    3. Reproduction and decline
    4. Co-ocurrence, tipping in, and bridging
    5. Organizational assembly and disassembly
    6. Increasing returns on diminishing artists
    7. A little more on the hobby horse
    8. Masses and classes
    9. The transformation of American culture.

  • Author

    Judith R. Blau, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

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