Building on sociological research that examines the allocation of rewards in peer evaluations, we argue that the recognition of cultural producers’ work varies with their status and social distance from the audience members who evaluate them. We study the influence of these two mechanisms within the context of the Norwegian advertising industry. Specifically, we looked at how cultural producers’ status and social distance from jury members affect their chances of being honored in “The Silver Tag” – one of the main digital advertising award contests in Norway – during the period 2003–2010. While our findings provide support for status-based rewards allocation, the positive effects of status may be more circumscribed than previously thought. When accounting for the existence of previous connections between audience members and cultural producers, we find that cultural producers are more or less likely to receive an accolade depending on their degree of separation from the audience members. By exposing network-based determinants of consecrating decisions, and suggesting that the positive effects of status may be more circumscribed than previously thought, our findings shed important light on the social foundations of evaluation and, more broadly, the mechanisms of reward allocation in cultural fields.
We gratefully acknowledge financial assistance from the Italian Ministry of Education, University and Research through the 2012 and 2015 PRIN funding schemes (Grant nos. 20124AE52R and 2015LJXRXJ) and the EU-ERC Funding Programme (Grant no. 695256). In addition, we thank the Sociology Department at the University of Pennsylvania, where the second author spent a visiting period during the completion of this manuscript.
Aadland, E., Cattani, G. and Ferriani, S. (2018), "The Social Structure of Consecration in Cultural Fields: The Influence of Status and Social Distance in Audience–Candidate Evaluative Processes", Jones, C. and Maoret, M. (Ed.) Frontiers of Creative Industries: Exploring Structural and Categorical Dynamics (Research in the Sociology of Organizations, Vol. 55), Emerald Publishing Limited, pp. 129-157. https://doi.org/10.1108/S0733-558X20180000055006Download as .RIS
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