9th Conference European Sociological Association

RN02 Sociology of the Arts

2009-09-05 09:00:00 2009-09-05 10:30:00 Saturday, 5 September 09:00 - 10:30 POSTER SESSION Building II, C6.10

Vocation and the Artist's profession in the age of complexity

Background - The transition from modernity to post-modernity marked an important turn in the artist's profession. After the first change - in the Renaissance with the shift from the guild corporations to the liberal arts which led to the concept of the artist as a genius - the second occurred in the 20th century when Beruf (vocation) underwent modifications not only in the way artists conceived of themselves, but especially in the relationships they had with others: interaction with the public (and not vocation) came to the fore in the evaluation of the artist.

Aims and method - A questionnaire with interval scale questions was administered to 180 university students, who were asked to 'compare' the degree of talent, extravagance, sensitivity, fame, income, prestige and vocation in some artistic (musician, painter, sculptor, architect) and non-artistic (doctor, lawyer, teacher) professions. Frequency and Variance analyses were carried out on the results.
Results and Conclusions - All the compared professions show the need for a specific and indispensable vocation. The result emerges from the lack of statistically significant differences among the compared professions. Most of the questions asked did not reveal differences between artistic and non-artistic professions, with the exception of the questions on talent, extravagance and sensitivity, which highlighted qualities attributed more to artists than to other professionals.