The creation of objects of “aesthetic value” is not merely a topic of philosophical speculation, but is a distinctly sociological activity. Each occupation maintains a sense of superior production (an “occupational aesthetic”) that is not reducible to organizational demands. This perspective extends the production of culture approach that sees art as being like all work, suggesting, in contrast, that all work is like art. An aesthetic component to work is reflected in the desire to produce objects (or perform tasks) so as to demonstrate the competence of the worker, as exemplified in a case study of work in four restaurant kitchens. The production of quality is not unbounded, as client demands, organizational efficiency, and the organization’s resource base have effects. The centrality of an aesthetic orientation depends upon the market niche of one’s organization, career stage in the occupation, and the nature of the work task.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Social Sciences(all)