Producing Artistic Value: The Case of Rock Music

Motti Regev

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Cultural forms gain artistic recognition when their producers of meaning “prove” that they (a) contain “serious” meanings and aesthetic genuineness; (b) they are produced by a definable creative entity and (c) the creative entity is autonomous, producing its works for their own sake. Since the 1960's, critics have claimed artistic recognition for rock music. They have done so by stressing the “subversive” meaning of rock, by identifying the rock‐group and the rock individual‐musician as autonomous creative entities, by consecrating a body of albums as the “masterpieces” of rock and by defining several sonic components as rock's genuine aesthetic language. Although the realization of this claim remains partial, it demonstrates that the belief in artistic cultural hierarchies is a structuring force in contemporary culture.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)85-102
Number of pages18
JournalSociological Quarterly
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1994
Externally publishedYes


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