Chapter

Unpacking biographical narratives: investigating stories of artistic careers in Northern Jutland, Denmark

Feiwel Kupferberg

in Biography and turning points in Europe and America

Published by Policy Press

Published in print June 2012 | ISBN: 9781847428608
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9781447307655 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1332/policypress/9781847428608.003.0002
Unpacking biographical narratives: investigating stories of artistic careers in Northern Jutland, Denmark

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In this chapter, Kupferberg’s examines empirically the process of becoming an artist in Northern Jutland in Denmark, while engaging theoretical and methodological debates. He argues that analysing artists in terms of sociological concepts like “careers” is not enough. He illustrates how the methodological tension between the arts and social sciences on the construction of knowledge can help reveal that the narrative method—including accounts of turning points— is a communicative act that may be located in the interstices of interaction. Importantly, he reveals that key turning points may remain unspoken—a kind of evidence largely overlooked in research. He shows that turning points depend on networks of interaction, and one of the more significant turning points in an artist’s career is when another establishes a permanent collection of the artist’s work—though this is never actually stated. He argues that turning points and ideas like creativity will be better understood by sociologists, the more that they open their analyses to communication; he contends that communicative acts in art tend to be disinterested and direct, in contrast to social science, where they tend to be definitive and reflexively purposive.

Keywords: Artistic careers; turning point; Pierre Bourdieu; Thomas Kuhn; Pierre-Michel Menger; narratology; Denmark

Chapter.  13376 words. 

Subjects: Social Research and Statistics

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