Dan-Eugen Raţiu
Pages 101-122
DOI: 10.5840/cultura20129124


This article explores recent developments in the sociology of the arts, namely the new theoretical framework set up by the French sociologist Pierre-Michel Menger in order to approach the artistic activity. It aims to show how he has shaped new tools of understanding and modelling for exploring the arts, as a particular world of action. Laying down the foundation of a conception of action related to symbolic interactionism and drawing on the economic analysis of risk and uncertainty, Menger move towards a model where uncertainty, not determinism, is the default category. Uncertainty is thus the principle unifying the analysis and understanding of the particularities of the arts, and the main argument in integrating sociological and economic studies on artistic activities. Correlatively, artistic creation is qualified as an act of work, the creative work being defined as a system of action in uncertain horizon. Within this model, the artists are seen less like “rational fools” and more like Bayesian actors, adopting strategies for managing risk and uncertainty.