Alison Gerber

The Work of Art

Value in Creative Careers

Stanford University Press 2017

New Books in AnthropologyNew Books in ArtNew Books in Arts & LettersNew Books in Critical TheoryNew Books in Politics & SocietyNew Books in SociologyNew Books Network January 19, 2018 Dave O'Brien

Is making art a job? This question is central to The Work of Art: Value in Creative Careers (Stanford University Press, 2017), the new...

Is making art a job? This question is central to The Work of Art: Value in Creative Careers (Stanford University Press, 2017), the new book by Alison Gerber, a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Sociology at Lund University. The book explores the working lives of artists by thinking through the idea of value in their work. At the heart of this exploration are four accounts of being an artist; four accounts of value; and four accounts of the occupation. These four accounts—pecuniary, credentialising, vocational, and relational—connect and conflict with each other to explain the place of both art and the artist in contemporary society. Using rich and detailed interview and ethnographic data, the book is essential reading for its contribution to contemporary sociology of culture and its insights into the art world.

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