A social science of the arts: An emerging organizational initiative and an illustrative investigation of photography

Lynn S. Liben, Lisa E. Szechter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations

Abstract

This article serves two major purposes. First, it provides a description of the origins and evolution of a new multidisciplinary initiative sponsored by the Social Science Research Council (SSRC) aimed at fostering a social science of the arts. Second, it highlights the questions, methods, and findings from a series of empirical investigations on individuals' production of and responses to photographs. In one study, children (aged seven to eight years) and adults (college students) were asked to produce and evaluate their own photographs. In a second, college students with different levels of photographic experience rated others ' photographs and explained their ratings. In a third study, students in a photography appreciation course were asked to identify and explain an image that was important to them. The data provide insights into some of the ways in which photographic production and appreciation change with age and with experience, and more generally illustrate ways in which the SSRCProgram on the Arts is having an impact on social science scholarship.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)385-408
Number of pages24
JournalQualitative Sociology
Volume25
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2002

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Sociology and Political Science

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