A relational account of the emergence of New Hollywood

Burgdorf, Katharina

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URN: urn:nbn:de:bsz:180-madoc-630080
Document Type: Doctoral dissertation
Year of publication: 2022
Place of publication: Mannheim
University: Universität Mannheim
Evaluator: Hillmann, Henning
Publication language: English
Institution: School of Social Sciences > Economic and Organizational Sociology (Hillmann 2009-)
Subject: 300 Social sciences, sociology, anthropology
Keywords (English): social networks , symbolic networks , culture , Hollywood
Abstract: This dissertation studies the social and symbolic networks that underlie the emergence of cultural forms using the case of New Hollywood—one of global cinema's most influential movements. Using a unique data set on film collaborations and cinematic references of more than 17,000 filmmakers retrieved from the Internet Movie Database (IMDb), I examine how New Hollywood filmmakers established an artistic vision of filmmaking and transformed one of the largest film industries in the world. This vision defined the individual filmmaker—the auteur—as the unique creator of films and challenged Hollywood's dominant collective and commercial notion at that time. Sociologists often emphasize the importance of collaborative ties that facilitate community cohesion. New Hollywood filmmakers, however, shared the vision of auteurism that emphasizes the individual rather than the collective as the driving force behind filmmaking. This dissertation examines how filmmakers resolved this tension between group cohesion and individualistic ideals. I analyze the long-term changes in filmmakers' collaboration and reference networks, where ties stem from participation in joint film projects, respectively, cinematic references to revered films. Blending research on the interplay between culture and networks and institution-focused accounts of art world emergence, I provide a relational account of Hollywood's artistic transformation.

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