Welcome to the Sociology of the Arts Group at the University of Exeter (SocArts). Research in SocArts examines the arts in situations of action and considers the arts as dynamic ingredients in social life and social experience. Our work links sociology with musicology, health humanities, museum studies and conflict transformation.

The SocArts Research Group is directed by Tia DeNora and includes members of staff and PhD researchers in SPA as well as postdoctoral and affiliated researchers based at other institutions. Members of SocArts have expertise in qualitative, ethnographic and sensory methods of research and many of us do comparative or transnational research. Our work is theoretically informed but also grounded in ‘real world’ questions and problems. We share a commitment to producing research that is ecologically valid and linked to people’s actual practices and systems of meaning.

SocArts turned ten in 2016. We celebrated by showcasing our research at The Pebbles in the Pond: SocArts at Ten, in dialogue with the scholars and arts-health activists who have visited us since 2006. It was a rich, inspiring event and very joyful, since it brought everyone who had ever been a member of SocArts together for two days (and the SocArts family now extends to nearly a dozen countries worldwide). Some of the work featured in the event will appear in a special issue of MAiA (Music and the Arts in Action) which will also feature the ways in which SocArts research has found its way into activities and activism.