Cite JOURNAL ARTICLE
Zur Soziologie des Schauspielerberufs in der Bundesrepublik
Journal of Contextual Economics – Schmollers Jahrbuch, Vol. 89 (1969), Iss. 4 : pp. 409–426
Social Overtaxation? A Contribution to the Sociology of the Stage Actor in West Germany
In West German theatres, the actors may be “socially overtaxed”, since - with a new emphasis - they are expected and even pressed by political groups 10 “educate” the society by theatrical means, possibly for revolutionary change. Against this background, the social structure of the profession is discussed. Actors and, even more so, actresses predominantly live in four social “free-back circuits”, which concern (i) their attitudes towards their work, (ii) their policies of collective bargaining, (iii) their professional socialisation. and (iv) their communication with out-groups. These “feed-back circuits” effectively tie the actors to a notion of intuitive “art”, which blocks an objective evaluation of their performances (i. e. the evaluation of their work), but goes along with a firm recognition of vertical (and horizontal) mobility as a goal. These factors create insecurity and an inclination to take to vague concepts of artistical “fulfillment” and to flee into a caste-like subceulture of their own, by which such “fulfillment” is ascertained. Again, these mechanisms of consolation keep up the intuitive concept of art. It seems rather difficult to break these “circuits”, which are analysed separately. On the other hand, the “circuits” may be breakable, because the subculture of the players may join social alliances with other groups (power elites), be they progressive - or conservative, for that. The actual situation of the performance, being the centrepiece of the actors’ work, allows both: It amalgamates the two goals of maintaining dialectical and critical distance and of capturing the audience.