Function of Art in Society

Function of Art in Society

            Art provides a variety of functions in society and the sheer volume of functions that it provides is so vast that it would be almost unfair to limit those functions to any small subset. However, if there were to be any specific generalizations made about the function of art in society it becomes important to view the impact that art has on society as a whole as well as the impact art has on the individual.

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            In terms of the impact and function art has on society, it would be that art reflects society. In music, film, sculpture, et al social trends, politics, ideologies and trends are on display for all to see. That can provide an insight into a SEGMENT of society as art is not inclusive of all opinions as all art is based on an individual’s outlook of society although such an individual’s outlook could also be representative of a collective of similar opinions.

            An ethnographic example of this can be viewed today in modern times in the “hip hop generation” and in the related music that presents the cultural voice present in the lyrics. Granted, there will be ‘hack work’ within the totality of the musical artists that are of limited artistic value, but the true artists present an image and an insight into cultural realities that other segments of society may not be aware. This is one example, but there can be many others presented as well as the sheer depth of art and its relation to culture and ethnographic issues literally can go on without limit. As such, a comprehensive overview becomes difficult, but a general insight is possible which in a way serves the same purpose towards defining art as arts serves in defining culture and society.


Frazitta, Bobby. “Hip Hop Culture.” Date Unknown 2002  Retrieved 15 August 2007


Morrison, Keith. “Art and Ethnography.” Date Unknown 1999 Retrieved 15 August 2007        From


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