This new book integrates material drawn from a variety of sources - feminist theory, cultural and literary analysis, sociology and art history - in an original discussion of women's relationship to modern and post-modern culture. The essays in the book challenge the continuing separation of sociological from textual analysis in cultural (and feminist) theory and enquiry. They address critically the question of women's writing, exploring the idea that women may begin to define their own lives and construct their identities in a patriarchal culture through the very process of writing. They also present a cogent defence of a feminist cultural politics, including a politics of the body.
A valuable introduction to the central issues in the sociology of the arts, this work draws on sociology, art history, feminism, and literary and media studies, to explain the social nature of the arts, their production, distribution, and reception. This second edition is the result of the author's chapter-by-chapter review and updating, taking into account not only her own re-thinking on these issues but also the work that has been done in cultural studies and the sociology of the arts since the first edition appeared in 1984. Wolff considers changes in sociology, literary studies, and cultural studies, and their implications for the project of the sociology of art: the relevance of post st...
In this book of critical writings, Janet Wolff examines issues of exile, memoir, and movement from the perspective of the female stranger. Wolff, born in Great Britain but now living and working in the United States, discusses the positive consequences of women's travel; the use of dance (another form of mobility) as an image of liberation; whether exile or distance provides a better vantage point for cultural criticism than centrality and stability; the place of personal memoir in academic writing; and much more.
A great deal has changed in the ten years since the first edition of this book was published; an area of rather esoteric interest has become one of the major public battlefields of political and academic debate. Rejecting both the art historian's essentialism and the sociologist's reductionism, Janet Wolff argues in this new edition that the concept of the aesthetic must be rescued as much from those who would equate artistic value with political worth as from the total aesthetic relativists who are rendered incapable of judging artistic value.
In a masterly book on the sociology of modernism, Janet Wolff explores work that was primarily realist and figurative and investigates the processes by which art fell by the wayside in the post-war period.
Austerity Baby might best be described as an "oblique memoir". Janet Wolff's fascinating volume is a family history - but one that is digressive and consistently surprising. The central underlying and repeated themes of the book are exile and displacement; lives (and deaths) during the ThirdReich; mother-daughter and sibling relationships; the generational transmission of trauma and experience; transatlantic reflections; and the struggle for creative expression. Stories mobilised, and people encountered, in the course of the narrative include: the internment of aliens in Britain during the Second World War; cultural life in Rochester, New York, in the 1920s; the social and personal meanings of colour(s); the industrialist and philanthropist, Henry Simon ofManchester, including his relationship with the Norwegian explorer, Fridtjof Nansen; the liberal British campaigner and MP of the 1940s, Eleanor Rathbone; reflections on the lives and images of spinsters. The text is supplemented and interrupted throughout by images (photographs, paintings,facsimile documents), some of which serve to illustrate the story, others engaging indirectly with the written word.
This book, first published in 1975, is an examination of the theoretical foundation of the sociology of art and literature and an in-depth study in the sociology of knowledge. In discussing and clarifying some of the important philosophical issues in this field, the constant underlying reference is to the creative and artistic-expressive areas of knowledge – so that the better understanding of the social nature and genesis of all knowledge may point the way towards a similar comprehension of art and society.