Theory and Society

, Volume 41, Issue 6, pp 527–556 | Cite as

Mutual halo effects in cultural production: the case of modernist architecture



Previous research has suggested that in cultural production fields the concatenation of eminence explains success, defined as influence and innovation. We propose that individuals in fields as diverse as philosophy, literature, mathematics, painting, or architecture gain visibility by cumulating the eminence of others connected to them across and within generations. We draw on interaction ritual chain and social movement theories, and use evidence from the field of modernist architecture, to formulate a model of how networks of very strong ties generate motivations and emotional enthusiasm, change reputations, and form collective movements that over time transform the structure of cultural fields. Because major aesthetic innovations break sharply with older styles, they need very strong group solidarity over a long period of time to propagate a new standard of practice. We propose mutual halo effects, i.e., the reciprocal reinforcement of upstream and downstream prestige on a given individual node, as the key factor accounting for success in a cultural production field. We discuss the relevance of these results for building a model of influence and innovation in cultural production fields in which networks—reshaped by shifting technological, political, and economic conditions—trigger new styles.


Cultural production Social networks Interaction rituals Social movements 


  1. Abbott, A. (1988). The system of professions: An essay on the division of expert labor. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  2. Abbott, A. (2001). Chaos of disciplines. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  3. Anderson, S. (2000). Peter Behrens and a new architecture for the twentieth century. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.Google Scholar
  4. Ansell, C. L. (2001). Schism and solidarity in social movements: The politics of labor in the French Third Republic. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bacon, M. (2001). Le Corbusier in America: Travels in the land of the timid. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.Google Scholar
  6. Banham, R. (1980). Theory and design in the first machine age. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press [1960].Google Scholar
  7. Barr, A. H., Jr. (1995). Preface. In H.-R. Hitchcock & P. Johnson (Eds.), The international style (pp. 27–32). New York: W.W. Norton.Google Scholar
  8. Benevolo, L. (1977). History of modern architecture. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press [1960].Google Scholar
  9. Benton, T. (1984). Villa Savoye and the architects’ practice. In H. Allen Brooks (Ed.), The Le Corbusier archive (7th ed., pp. ix–xxxi). New York: Garland Architectural Archives.Google Scholar
  10. Blau, J. R. (1984). Architects and firms. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.Google Scholar
  11. Bohigas, O. (1973). Reseña y catálogo de la arquitectura modernista. Barcelona: Lumen.Google Scholar
  12. Bohigas, O. (1998). Modernidad en la arquitectura de la España republicana. Barcelona: Tusquets.Google Scholar
  13. Bourdieu, P. (1977). Outline of a theory of practice. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press [1972].Google Scholar
  14. Bourdieu, P. (1996). The rules of art: Genesis and structure of the literary field. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.Google Scholar
  15. Bucher, R., & Strauss, A. (1961). Professions in process. American Journal of Sociology, 66(4), 325–334.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Buddensieg, T. (1984). Industriekultur: Peter Behrens and the AEG, 1907–1914. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  17. Burris, V. (2004). The academic caste system: prestige hierarchies in PhD exchange networks. American Sociological Review, 69, 239–264.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Burt, R. S. (1992). Structural holes: The social structure of competition. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  19. Burt, R. S. (2005). Brokerage and closure: An introduction to social capital. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  20. CGP (Centre Georges Pompidou). (1987). Le Corbusier: Une Encyclopédie. Paris: CGP.Google Scholar
  21. Cheever, S. (2006). American Bloomsbury. NY: Simon and Schuster.Google Scholar
  22. Collins, R. (1998). The sociology of philosophies: A global theory of intellectual change. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  23. Collins, R. (2004). Interaction ritual chains. Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  24. Cooke, C. (1995). Russian Avant-Garde. London: Academy.Google Scholar
  25. Curtis, W. J. R. (1996). Modern architecture since 1900. London: Phaidon Press [1982].Google Scholar
  26. DeNora, T. (1991). Musical patronage and social change in Beethoven Vienna. American Journal of Sociology, 97, 310–346.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Denora, T. (1995). Beethoven and the construction of genius. Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  28. DiMaggio, P. J. (1991). Constructing an organizational field as a professional project: U.S. art museums, 1920–1940. In W. W. Powell & P. J. DiMaggio (Eds.), The new institutionalism in organizational analysis (pp. 267–292). Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  29. Emirbayer, M., & Goodwin, J. (1994). Network analysis, culture, and the problem of agency. American Journal of Sociology, 103, 1411–1454.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Emirbayer, M., & Johnson, V. (2008). Bourdieu and organizational analysis. Theory & Society, 37, 1–44.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Etlin, R. A. (1991). Modernism in Italian architecture, 1890–1940. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  32. Farrell, M. (2001). Collaborative circles: Friendship dynamics and creative work. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  33. Ferraz, G. (1965). Warchavchik e a introdução da nova arquitetura no Brasil: 1925 a 1940. São Paulo: Museu de Arte de São Paulo.Google Scholar
  34. Freixa, M. (1986). El Modernismo en España. Madrid: Cátedra.Google Scholar
  35. Frickel, S., & Gross, N. (2005). A general theory of scientific/intellectual movements. American Sociological Review, 70, 204–232.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Gartman, D. (2000). Why modern architecture emerged in Europe, not in America: the new class and the aesthetics of technology. Theory, Culture & Society, 17(5), 75–96.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Gartman, D. (2009). From autos to architecture: Fordism and architectural aesthetics in the twentieth century. New York: Princeton Architectural Press.Google Scholar
  38. Giedion, S. (1982). Space, time, and architecture: The growth of a new tradition. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press [1941].Google Scholar
  39. Goffman, E. (1969). Where the action is: Three essays. London: Allen Lane.Google Scholar
  40. Granovetter, M. G. (1973). The strength of weak ties. American Journal of Sociology, 78, 1360–1380.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Guillén, M. F. (2006). The Taylorized beauty of the mechanical: Scientific management and the rise of modernist architecture. Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  42. Hitchcock, H. R. (1971). Architecture: Nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Harmondsworth, Middlesex: Penguin [1958].Google Scholar
  43. Hitchcock, H., & Johnson, P. (1995). The international style. New York: W. W. Norton [1932].Google Scholar
  44. Hochman, E. S. (1989). Architects of fortune: Mies van der Rohe and the Third Reich. New York: Weidenfeld & Nicolson.Google Scholar
  45. Jablonowski, U. (1983). “Wo berühren sich die Schaffensgebiete des Technikers und Künstlers?” (Walter Gropius). Beziehungen zwischen dem Dessauer Bauhaus und den Werken des Junkerskonzerns. Dessauer Kalender, pp. 13–30.Google Scholar
  46. Janik, A., & Toulmin, S. (1973). Wittgenstein’s Vienna. New York: Simon and Schuster.Google Scholar
  47. Jencks, C. (1973). Modern movements in architecture. Garden City: Anchor Books.Google Scholar
  48. Johnson, V. (2007). What is organizational imprinting? Cultural entrepreneurship in the founding of the Paris Opera. American Journal of Sociology, 113, 97–127.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Johnson, V. (2008). Backstage at the revolution: How the royal Paris opera survived the end of the old regime. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  50. Jones, B. F., Wuchty, S., & Uzzi, B. (2008). Multi-university research teams. Science, 322, 1259–1262.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Jordy, W. H. (1986). The impact of European modernism in the mid-twentieth century. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  52. Lampugnani, V. M. (1986). Encyclopedia of 20th-century architecture. New York: Harry N. Abrams [1964].Google Scholar
  53. Lang, G. E., & Lang, K. (1988). Recognition and renown: the survival of artistic reputation. American Journal of Sociology, 94, 79–109.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Lang, G. E., & Lang, K. (1990). Etched in memory: The building and survival of artistic reputation. Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press.Google Scholar
  55. Larson, M. S. (1993). Behind the postmodern façade: Architectural change in late twentieth century America. Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  56. Le Corbusier (Charles Édouard Jeanneret). (1986). Towards a new architecture. New York: Dover [1923].Google Scholar
  57. Mackay, D. (1989). Modern arquitecture in Barcelona (1854–1939). New York: Rizzoli.Google Scholar
  58. Mannheim, K. (1952). The problem of generations. In P. Kecskemeti (Ed.), Essays on the sociology of knowledge (pp. 276–322). London: Routledge & Kegan Paul [1927].Google Scholar
  59. Marinetti, F. T. (1973). The Founding and manifesto of futurism. In U. Apollonio (Ed.), Futurist manifestos (pp. 19–24). Boston: MFA Publications [1909].Google Scholar
  60. McAdam, D., McCarthy, J. D., & Zald, M. N. (1996). Introduction. In D. McAdam, J. D. McCarthy, & M. N. Zald (Eds.), Comparative perspectives on social movements (pp. 1–20). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  61. Merton, R. K. (1973). The sociology of science. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  62. Meyer, D. S., & Staggenborg, S. (1996). Movements, countermovements, and the structure of political opportunity. American Journal of Sociology, 101(6), 1628–1660.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Midant, J.-P. (Ed.). (1996). Dictionnaire de l’architecture du XXe siècle. Paris: Institut Français d’Architecture.Google Scholar
  64. Middleton, R. (Ed.). (1982). The Beaux-arts and nineteenth-century French architecture. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.Google Scholar
  65. Mische, A. (2008). Partisan publics: Communication and contention across Brazilian youth activist networks. Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  66. Muriel, E. (Ed.). (1994). Contemporary architects. New York: St. James’ Press [1980].Google Scholar
  67. Obstfeld, D. (2005). Social networks, the tertius lugens orientation, and involvement in innovation. Administrative Science Quarterly, 50, 100–130.Google Scholar
  68. Padgett, J. F. (1997). The emergence of simple ecologies of skill: A hypercycle approach to economic organization. In B. Arthur, S. Durlauf, & D. Lane (Eds.), The economy as an evolving complex system II. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley.Google Scholar
  69. Padgett, J. F., & Ansell, C. (1993). Robust action and the rise of the medici, 1400–1434. American Journal of Sociology, 98, 1259–1319.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. Padgett, J. F., & McLean, P. D. (2006). Organizational invention and elite transformation: the birth of partnership systems in renaissance Florence. American Journal of Sociology, 111, 1463–1568.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  71. Pfammatter, U. (2000). The making of the modern architect and engineer. Berlin: Birkhäuser.Google Scholar
  72. Placzek, A. K. (Ed.). (1982). The Macmillan encyclopedia of architects. New York: Free Press.Google Scholar
  73. Prakesh, V. (2002). Chandigarh’s Le Corbusier: The struggle for modernity in postcolonial India. Seattle: University of Washington Press.Google Scholar
  74. Rao, H., Monin, P., & Durand, R. (2003). Institutional change in Toque Ville: Nouvelle Cuisine as an identity movement in French gastronomy. American Journal of Sociology, 108(4), 795–843.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  75. Reagans, R., & McEvily, B. (2003). Network structure and knowledge transfer: the effects of cohesion and range. Administrative Science Quarterly, 48, 240–267.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  76. Reagans, R., Zuckerman, E., & McEvily, B. (2004). How to make the team: social networks vs. demography as criteria for designing effective teams. Administrative Science Quarterly, 49, 101–133.Google Scholar
  77. Schorske, C. (1981). Fin-de-Siecle Vienna: Politics and culture. New York: Vintage.Google Scholar
  78. Scully, V. (1974). Modern architecture: The architecture of democracy. New York: George Braziller [1961].Google Scholar
  79. Sharp, D. (Ed.). (1981). Sources of modern architecture: A critical bibliography. London and New York: Granada [1967].Google Scholar
  80. Smith, C. B. (1967). Builders in the sun: Five Mexican architects. New York: Architectural Book Publishing.Google Scholar
  81. Smith, T. (1993). Making the modern: Industry, art, and design in America. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  82. Solà-Morales, I. (1984). Gaudí. New York: Rizzoli.Google Scholar
  83. Timms, E. (1989). Karl Kraus, apocalyptic satirist: Culture and catastrophe in Habsburg Vienna. New Haven: Yale University.Google Scholar
  84. Uzzi, B. (2008). A social network’s changing statistical properties and the quality of human innovation. Journal of Physics: Mathematical and Theoretical. 41 224023 (12pp).Google Scholar
  85. Uzzi, B., & Spiro, J. (2005). Collaboration and creativity: the small world problem. American Journal of Sociology, 111(2), 447–504.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  86. Watson, S. (1991). Strange bedfellows. The first American Avant-Garde. New York: Abbeville.Google Scholar
  87. Weston, R. (1996). Modernism. New York: Phaidon.Google Scholar
  88. White, H. C. (1993). Careers and creativity. Social forces in the arts. Boulder: Westview Press.Google Scholar
  89. White, H. C., & White, C. (1965). Canvases and careers: Institutional change in the French painting world. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  90. Wuchty, S., Jones, B. F., & Uzzi, B. (2007). The increasing dominance of teams in production of science. Science, 316, 1036–1039.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  91. Zablocki, B. (1980). Alienation and charisma: A study of contemporary American communes. New York: Free Press.Google Scholar
  92. Zald, M. N., & Useem, B. (1987). Movement and countermovement interaction. In M. N. Zald & J. D. McCarthy (Eds.), Social movements in an organizational society (pp. 247–272). New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction.Google Scholar
  93. Zuckerman, H. (1967). Nobel Laureates in science: patterns of productivity, collaboration, and authorship. American Sociological Review, 32, 391–403.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of SociologyUniversity of PennsylvaniaPhiladelphiaUSA
  2. 2.University of PennsylvaniaPhiladelphiaUSA

Personalised recommendations