General information

Course type AMUPIE
Module title Artists And Their Careers In A Sociological Frame
Language English
Module lecturer Beata Kowalczyk
Lecturer's email
Lecturer position adiunkt
Faculty Faculty of Sociology
Semester 2021/2022 (summer)
Duration 30
USOS code 24-PIE-ATC


Classes will take place on Mondays,16:45-18:15, room 109, Ogrody Campus

Module aim (aims)

The aim of this course is to take a closer look at the process of career making in the creative industries from a sociological stance. Participants of the course will get to know and understand 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 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 knowledge of English, ability to read and discuss research papers


This seminar will take the history of the sociology of occupations as the point of departure. Students will learn firstly (1) fundamental concepts and theories (i.e., art world, career, authenticity, creative industry, artistic identity), which constitute the basis for an adequate understanding of proposed readings (papers and book extracts) and efficient approach to the studied sociological sphere, here: social world of artistic professions. Secondly, students will get familiar with (2) sociological methodology that is useful for an efficient examination of artistic careers. Thirdly, based on proposed readings students will learn about (3) different types of careers that vary depending on artists specializations. The list of proposed topics for discussion is as follows:

  1. Introduction to sociology of artistic and creative occupations
  2. Art as collective activity. Howard Becker and ‘Art Worlds’
  3. The literary field in Flaubert's time. Pierre Bourdieu and 'field' theory
  4. What are artists playing at? Art as social performance
  5. "I love my job". Creative precariat in creative/cultural industries
  6. Whom we call an artist? Identity issues in arts
  7. Doing gender in the Ballroom
  8. Looking for authenticity in music: the case of jazz, blues and classical music
  9. Between virtuoso and orchestra musician. Careers in classical music
  10. Jana Shostak screaming for Bielarus. Art as politically engaged action
  11. Art in digital era. An uncertain image of Hatsune Miku
  12. Closing summary: who’s artist anyway
  13. - 15. Tell us about your favorite artist. Students' presentations

Reading list