Alexandra L. Novozhenova

Lomonosov Moscow State University

Articles. Research

This historical-theoretical article reconstructs the situation around soviet sociology of art at the edge of 1920s–1930-s, showing that customary tagging together of all soviet Marxist methologies under the label of «vulgar sociology» blocks all the possible attempts to somehow connect the sphere of art to existing social relations and also prevents researchers and practitioners from borrowing from fruitful sociological conceptions of that time. Meanwhile, the sociologisation of art historical studies was an important part of the modernist project. Within its framework the attempt was made to answer the question «what is proletariat» and depending on the answer given to start building the new socialist cultural policy on the scientific basis. Author shows how the practical methods of research of a public corresponded with the practices of left avante-garde. In conclusion the statement is made that the campaign against vulgar sociology as a part of a wider ideological consolidation, brought to an end the hegemony of sociological method it art analysis. The prescriptive «imaginary ideal», that was being persistently introduced into the public discourse, replaced class determinism of the previous stage. The sociological questioning about the nature of the class subject was now made impossible.

Keywords: ideology, sociology of art, vulgar sociology, utopia, imaginary ideal, productionist art, 1920s, Marxism.