Kaleidoscopic Failure: The Regularity, Repetition, and Patterning of Failure in the Arts


  • Rachel Skaggs Department of Arts Administration, Education, and Policy, The Ohio State University https://orcid.org/0000-0002-1041-8780




Failure, Artistic careers, Capital acquisition, Culture, Non-standard work


This essay presents the argument that failure in the arts is kaleidoscopic, presenting myriad points and types of regular, repeated, patterned failures that are concealed by focusing on financial earnings as the primary way that failure is experienced by artists. This framework is useful as a way to examine and review knowledge about the arts through outlining how individuals, groups, artistic products, and ideas can fail to accumulate economic, human, social, and cultural capital.


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How to Cite

Skaggs, R. (2023). Kaleidoscopic Failure: The Regularity, Repetition, and Patterning of Failure in the Arts. Sociologica, 17(3), 99–112. https://doi.org/10.6092/issn.1971-8853/18337