Rethinking the Institutional Theory of George Dickie: The Art Circles


  • Marko Đorđević



institutional theory, institutional critique, symbolic interactionism, field theory, theory of art


This paper initially revisits the institutional theory of George Dickie, which originated in relation to Arthur Danto’s “The Artworld” and the works of other analytic philosophers dealing with art theory at the time. This contextualization is followed by an attempt at finding possible relations and theoretical developments of Dickie’s work in theorists such as Howard S. Becker and Pierre Bourdieu. The aim is to find basic correlations and differences between Dickie’s theory, Becker’s symbolic interactionism and Bourdieu’s field theory. The final segment consists of linking the interpreted theoretical terms and summing up the possibilities that arise out of them for contemporary art theory.

Author Biography

Marko Đorđević

Faculty of Media and Communications, Belgrade

Ph.D. candidate


Becker, Howard S. Art Worlds. Berkeley, Los Angeles, London: University of California Press, 1982.

Bourdieu, Pierre. The Rules of Art: Genesis and Structure of the Literary Field. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1995. DOI:

Danto, Arthur. “The Artworld.” InPhilosophy Looks at the Arts: Contemporary Readings in Aesthetics, edited by Joseph Margolis. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1987.

Danto, Arthur C. “Artworks and Real Things.” In Art and Philosophy: Readings in Aesthetics, edited by W. E. Kennick. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1979.

Davies, Stephen. Definitions of Art. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1991.

Dickie, George. “What is Art? An Institutional Analysis.” In Art and the Aesthetic: An Institutional Analysis. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1974.

Dickie, George. The Art Circle. New York: Heaven Publication, 1984.

Đorđević, Marko. Institucionalna kritika i problem subjektivizacije u savremenoj umetnosti. Beograd: Orion Art & FMK, 2015.

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Scott, Richard W. Institutions and Organizations. London: SAGE Publications, 1995.

Šuvaković, Miško. “Analiza umetnosti i umetničkog dela: Slučaj Ričarda Volhajma.“ In Ričard Volhajm. Ričard, Umetnost i njeni predmeti. Beograd: Clio, 2002.




How to Cite

Đorđević, M. (2016). Rethinking the Institutional Theory of George Dickie: The Art Circles. AM Journal of Art and Media Studies, (9), 127–133.