We are linked to the Music and Arts in Action (MAiA) journal, founded in 2008 by a group of SocArts PhD students and now edited by a team of PhD students and postdoctoral scholars.

SocArts

About us

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.

Theoretically, we are concerned with the culture-agency nexus, new ontologies, emergence, complexity, temporality, material and craft practices, tacit and non-propositional knowledge, consciousness, and embodiment. Empirically, our work investigates how the arts and aesthetic practices more generally (for what is and isn’t art?) can mediate, transform and transcend seemingly ‘given’ physical, social and psychological realities. Current projects focus on the arts, health and wellbeing; aesthetic media as technologies of identity, self and memory; aesthetic and sensory representations of knowledge; and the arts in relation to social cohesion, conflict, and reconciliation.

SocArts has been active since 2004. Its members come from eight countries and speak and work in 10 languages. Work in SocArts has been honoured by the American Sociological Association, the Royal Society for Health Promotion, UK, and the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science. The group includes members of staff and PhD researchers in SPA as well as postdoctoral and affiliated researchers based at other institutions.

Members of SocArts participate in two important networks – the AHRC Being in the Zone Network Grant (run by Open University and KCL, Sociology Departments) and the ESRC Arts, Wellbeing and Health Seminar Group, coordinated from Nottingham University School of School of Nursing, Midwifery & Physiotherapy. We are also linked to two journals. The first of these is Music and Arts in Action (MAiA), founded in 2008 by a group of SocArts PhD students and now edited by a team of PhD students and postdoctoral scholars. The second is the BSA publication, Cultural Sociology, edited by Professor David Inglis.

SocArts hosts symposia, guest lectures and outreach events and has welcomed visiting scholars from around the world. Informal links include: Nordoff Robbins Music Therapy, London, UK; Yale University Center for Cultural Sociology, USA; the University of Edinburgh’s Institute for Music in Human and Social Development; the Center for the Humanities and the Public Sphere, University of Florida; the Nordic Network for Music, Culture and Health (MUCH); and the Graduate School of Human Development and Environment at Kobe University, Japan.