Maintaining Art-World Membership: Self-Taught Identity Work Of The Florida Highwaymen
Art worlds; Color-blind racism; Discursive acts; Identity work; Race; Self-taught artists
In this article, we examine how a group of aging black artists, labeled The Florida Highwaymen, maintained membership in a self-taught art world. Based on fieldwork, interviews, and Web sites, we analyze how the artists constructed identities in ways that enabled them to continue benefiting from the art world, even when they appeared in violation of membership criteria or codes. Such identity work involved affiliating with the artist collective, aligning with the self-taught identity code, and denying and reframing code violations. Rather than adopting racist imagery employed by art-world insiders, they drew from color-blind tactics and cultural discourses to maintain membership in the self-taught art world, and their dignity. Our study demonstrates the usefulness of an identity work approach for the sociology of art worlds and has implications for exploring how people construct selves to maintain membership benefits in other social arenas.
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Anthony, Amanda Koontz and Schrock, Douglas, "Maintaining Art-World Membership: Self-Taught Identity Work Of The Florida Highwaymen" (2014). Scopus Export 2010-2014. 8606.