General information

Course type AMUPIE
Module title Artists And Their Careers In A Sociological Frame
Language English
Module lecturer dr Beata Kowalczyk
Lecturer's email
Lecturer position assistant professor
Faculty Faculty of Sociology
Semester 2023/2024 (summer)
Duration 30
USOS code 24-PIE-ATC


Every Monday 13:15-14:45

Faculty of Sociology, Campus Ogrody, Międzychodzka street – room 409 

Module aim (aims)

The aim of this course is to take a closer look at the process of career making in the creative/cultural industries from a sociological stance. Participants of the course will learn basic concepts of qualitative sociology and sociology of artistic/creative professions. They will also acquire basic skills to analytically discuss the elements that frame careers in various creative/cultural industries. In addition to that, students will learn how to gather, find, synthesise and critically assess information about social problems and processes related to work dynamics in the creative/cultural industries.

Pre-requisites in terms of knowledge, skills and social competences (where relevant)

Good command of English



1. Prodigy, talent, genius and authentic artist. Introduction to sociology of creative occupations.

2. Art as collective activity. Howard Becker and ‘Art Worlds’

3. What are artists playing at? Art as social performance

4. “I love my job”. Creative precariat in creative/cultural industries

5. Writers, classical musicians … Diverse career pathways arts and creative industries

6. Whom we call an artist? Identity issues in arts

7. The workings of gender in arts. Artist’s body as a tool

8. Looking for authenticity in music: the case of jazz, blues and classical music

9. Art in digital era

10. Student's presentations


Reading list

Becker, H. 2008 [1982]. The Art Worlds. University of California Press, pp. 1-40.

The literary field in Flaubert's time. Pierre Bourdieu & ‘field’ theory

Bourdieu, P., & Ferguson, P. P. (1988) Flaubert’s Point of View. Critical Inquiry, 14(3), 539–562. 

McCormick, L. (2006) “Music as Social Performance.” In: Myth, Meaning, and Performance: Toward a New Cultural Sociology of the Arts, Eyerman, R., Lisa McCormick, L. (eds.) Boulder and London: Paradigm: 121-144.

Hesmondhalgh, D. J. 2008. Cultural and Creative Industries. In: Bennett, T. & Frow, J. (eds.) The SAGE Handbook of Cultural Analysis. London, SAGE, pp. 552–569.

Hughes, E. C. (1997) Careers. Qualitative Sociology (20)3:389 – 397.

Craig, A. (2007) Practicing poetry. A career without a job

Wagner, I., 2012, Transnational Careers in the Virtuoso World, pp. 12-76 [in:] Careers in Creative Industries, ed. C. Mathieu, Abington, Routledge.

Bain, A. (2005) “Constructing an artistic identity.” Work, employment and society 19,1: 25–46.

Frederickson, J., and J. Rooney. (1990) “How the Music Occupation Failed to Become a Profession.” International Review of the Aesthetics and Sociology of Music 21, 2:189-206.

Scharff, C. (2015) Blowing your own trumpet: exploring the gendered dynamics of self-promotion in the classical music profession. The Sociological Review, 63(S1):97–112

Leib, A. and R. Bulman 2009. The choreography of gender. Masculinity, femininity, and the complex dance of identity in the ballroom. Men and Masculinities.11(5): 602-621.

Cameron, W. 1954. Sociological Notes on the Jam session. Social Forces 33: 177-182.

Ryan, J. 2011. Beale Street Blues? Tourism, Musical Labor, and the Fetishization of Poverty in Blues Discourse. Ethnomusicology 55(3): 473-503.

Harkins, P & Prior, N 2021, '(Dis)locating democratization: Music technologies in practice', Popular Music and Society

Hasse Jørgensen, S.M., Vitting-Seerup, S. & Wallevik, K. (2017) Hatsune Miku: an uncertain image. Digital Creativity 28:4, 318-331