Sociology of Art and Literature–Select Bibliography

Updated March 9, 2020

Socio-economics of the arts and literature, or cultural economics, is a field that studies the economics of creation, distribution, and the consumption of works of art, literature and similar creative and cultural products.

For a long time, the concept of the “arts” were confined to visual arts (e.g., painting) and performing arts (music, theatre, dance) in the Anglo-Saxon tradition. Usage has widened since the 1980s with the study of cultural industry (cinema, television programs, book and music periodical publishing) and the economy of cultural institutions (museums, libraries, historic buildings).

The field is coded as JEL: Z11 in the Journal of Economic Literature

Carpenter, Humphrey. Geniuses Together: American Writers in Paris in the 1920s. Houghton Mifflin, 1987.


Barbu, Z. “Sociological Perspectives in Art and Literature.” In Creedy.

Berger, John. Art and Revolution. Ernst Neizvestny and the role of the artists in The U.S.S.R. 1969.

Berger, John.  About looking, 1980. 198pp.

Berger, John. Ways of Seeing.

Berger, Morroe. Real and Imagined Worlds: The Novel and Social Science. Harvard University Press, 1977.

Burns, Tom and Elizabeth Burns (eds). Sociology of Literature and Drama. Penguin Books, 1973.

Carpenter, Humphrey. Geniuses Together: American Writers in Paris in the 1920s. Houghton Mifflin, 1987.

Charvat, William. The Profession of Authorship in America. Ohio State University Press, 1968.

Coser, Lewis, Charles Kadushin, Walter Powell, Books: The Culture and Commerce of Publishing. 1982.

Creedy, J.  The Social Context of Art. London, 1970.

Desan, Philippe. Priscilla Parkhurst Ferguson, Wendy Griswold (eds). Literature and Social Practice.  University of Chicago Press, 1989.

Eagleton, Terry.  Literary Theory; An Introduction. 1983.

Fiedler, Leslie A.  Love and Death in the American Novel. 1969.

Fiedler, Leslie A. The Return of the Vanishing American. 1972.

Findlater, R. What Are Writers Worth? 1963.

Findlater, R. The Book Writers: Who Are They? 1966.

Gombrich, E.W. Art and Illusion.  A Study on the Psychology of Pictorial Representation.  Princeton Univ. Press,  1961.

Gombrich, E.W. The Sense of Order: A Study in the Psychology of Decorative Art. Cornell Univ Press, 1979.

Graff, Gerald. Professing Literature: An Institutional History.  1987.

Griff, Mason. “The Commercial Artist: A Study in Changing and Consistent Identities.”  In Stein and Vidich and White (eds), Identity and Anxiety. 1960.

Griff, Mason. “The Recruitment and Socialization of Artists.”  In Albrecht et al (eds). The Sociology of Art and Literature.

Hall, John. The Sociology of Literature. 1979.

Hauser, Arnold. The Sociology of Art (Trans).  1982.

Hirsch, E.D. Cultural Literary: What Every American Needs to Know. 1987.

Jarvie, I. C. Movies and Society. 1970.

Jarvie, I. C. Movies  as Social Criticism. 1978.

Merrill, Francis E. “Balzac as Sociologist: A Study in the Sociology of Literature.  Sociology and Social research, 1966.

Merrill, Francis E. “Stendhal and the self: A Study in the Sociology of Literature. AJS, March 1966.

Merrill, Francis E. “Art and the Self.” Sociology and Social research, 1968.



Wilson, Robert N. (ed). The Arts in Society. 1969

Wilson, Robert N. The Writer as Social Seer.  University of N. Carolina  Press, 1979. 228 pp. Eight writers of 20th century: Fitzgerald, Hemingway, O’Neill, Miller, Baldwin, Camus, Brecht.