Cultural Production and Markets in a Global Context

My substantive research engages with the dynamics of cultural production and markets in global context. My first book, The Global Rules of Art. The Emergence and Divisions of a Cultural World Economy, examines global transformations in the contemporary visual arts. Cross-border flows have had a long and varied history in the visual arts. However, The Global Rules of Art argues that something unprecedented has emerged in the past three decades: a global field of art that involves, for the first time, a social-cultural context for cross-border flows and valuations that reach across six continents. Combining historical, structural and interpretative analyses, the book traces the emergence of this global field and illuminates through detailed case studies the different ways in which artists become recognized and valued worldwide. While the empirical subject are the visual arts, the book also engages the sociology of valuation, the sociology of markets, and global/transnational sociology. It is part of an emerging body of research that extends and revises fields theory beyond the nation-state to illuminate transnational and global processes. (cf. also ASA Summary) My second book project examines the cross-border formation of audiences and taste cultures through the lens of global art collectors.

Transnational and Global Sociology/Theorizing

Based on insights from substantive research, my work also engages broader theoretical and methodological concerns of transnational and global analysis. It introduces the concept of “relative vertical autonomy” as a new angle to theorize national-global relations; offers arguments to rethink the “center-periphery model” and the idea of “asymmetric interdependencies” from a field analytical perspective; and proposes a “multi-scalar” approach for theorizing fields/markets/boundaries. My ongoing work further interrogates the utility of analogical theorizing and causal mechanisms for transnational/global analysis.

For a Webinar on Transnational Theorizing, cf.:

Copyright © 2016 L. Buchholz