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Social History of Art - Essay Example

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To understand the foundations of theory named Social History of Art, one must look beyond the synoptic treatments of society and art in their well-known and much appreciated works on economy, political concept and class systems. These perceptions and concepts of the society are intimately linked to their investigations of the broad problem of rationalization in modern society…
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Social History of Art
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Download file to see previous pages Yet for Arnold Hauser there is less flexibility given for maintaining a state of imperfect equality. Hauser has great deference for the natural state of man above the artificially created political. (Edelman, 2005) Following such a belief, the complete survival of a state requires absolute and continuously changing notions of equality, without which a mass exodus from state might occur. Those citizens who are ill represented by the interests of others citizens in a state are given a clear exit path for leaving society, one that is encouraged by the state as a whole. This becomes a practical way for Hauser to balance the conflicting relations of multiple self interests and stagnation of expanded political freedoms. With the minority leaving the state, it's existence and reasons for conflict are left unchecked. (Cook, 1998) Arnold Hauser's beliefs avoid a much larger revolution by the lower class of humankind. In the theory, Hauser pays great attention to the transfer of individual rights into the creation of a state or society. When a state is created, it should be out of the realization that the things man cannot handle on his own will be better managed by a more centralized power in the form of the state. However, Hauser also gives great pause to the fact that the state can fail man and at no time should it have a disproportionate share of power in comparison to man in the prior state of nature. By giving up liberty man gives up any ability to compromise with others in the state. This is akin to slavery. For everything that he puts in, man gets nothing in return. (Fletcher, 2005) Surely this is not the reason for creating a state since man would be better off on his own, than to sacrifice all of his liberties for the good of others above himself. Out of this belief is born the concept of a perfect equality. Every right that is put into a state should flow back into the hands of those who form it, otherwise it is not a representative political state. But this creates a problem, as Hauser notes, in that while a society may be formed by total unanimity, it is entirely likely that this unanimity will crack at some point in the future. This future inclination would give rise to perfect art and art forms. (Hauser, 1991)
The importance of production relations in the theory with economic emphasis on market relations could be a key prospect in understanding the basic or fundamental influence on modern European society. It could well be suggested that both property and market dynamics are important by relating each to the concepts of class composition. The basic concept may be incorporated into Hauser's emphasis on social closure to more clearly differentiate social classes which could develop into a model of class structure, usefully differentiates relational and gradational conceptualizations of social class, and re-visits some key differences among other society and art related theories. (Lamb, 2004) But the end goal being the evaluation of the theory in the perspective of the modern society it could be well punctuated that the basic relevance of these perceptions are ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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