Professor Victoria Alexander

Staff details

Professor Victoria Alexander


Professor of Sociology and Arts Management


Institute for Creative and Cultural Entrepreneurship


V.Alexander (

Victoria’s research combines sociology of the arts, visual culture, sociology of organisations and culture.

Victoria D. Alexander (AB, Princeton; AM, PhD, Stanford) is Professor of Sociology and Arts Management. She joined Goldsmiths in September 2015 as the Programme Convenor of the BA (Hons) in Arts Management. She moved to Goldsmiths from the sociology department at the University of Surrey, where she taught sociology of arts and cultural organisations, and previously taught sociology of culture and organisational behaviour at Harvard University.

Her research has been in the intersection of sociology of the arts, visual culture, sociology of organisations, and sociology of culture – all areas directly relevant to Arts Management. She has studied the funding of art museums, cultural policy in comparative perspective, sociology of the arts, neighbourhoods, and visual culture. Current interdisciplinary work covers aesthetic fields, user-generated reviews of cultural attractions, and arts policy. She is Goldsmiths' lead on the EU-Funded UNCHARTED project (

Academic qualifications

  • PhD (Sociology), Stanford University 1990
  • AM (Sociology), Stanford University 1985
  • AB (Sociology) summa cum laude, Princeton University 1981

Teaching and supervision

Publications and research outputs


Alexander, Victoria D. and Rueschemeyer, Marilyn. 2005. Art and the State: The Visual Arts in Comparative Perspective. London: Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 978-1-4039-4525-9

Alexander, Victoria D.. 2003. Sociology of the Arts: Exploring Fine and Popular Forms. Oxford: Blackwells. ISBN 0631230408

Alexander, Victoria D.. 1996. Museums and Money: The Impact of Funding on Exhibitions, Scholarship, and Management. Bloomington: Indiana University Press. ISBN 9780253332059

Edited Book

Alexander, Victoria D.; Hägg, Samuli; Häyrynen, Simo and Sevänen, Erkki, eds. 2018. Art and the Challenge of Markets: National Cultural Politics and the Challenges of Marketization and Globalization. London: Palgrave. ISBN 9783319645858

Alexander, Victoria D.; Hägg, Samuli; Häyrynen, Simo and Sevänen, Erkki, eds. 2018. Art and the Challenge of Markets: From Commodification of Art to Artistic Critiques of Capitalism. London: Palgrave. ISBN 9783319646435

Book Section

Alexander, Victoria D.. 2019. Cultural Policy Effects on the Marketing Orientation in London Art Museums. In: Karin M. Ekström, ed. Museum Marketization: Cultural Institutions in the Neoliberal Era. Abingdon: Routledge. ISBN 9781138393851

Alexander, Victoria D.. 2018. Public Institutions of “High” Culture. In: Laura Grindstaff; Ming-Cheng Lo and John R Hall, eds. Routledge Handbook of Cultural Sociology: Second Edition. London: Routledge, pp. 369-377. ISBN 9781138288621

Alexander, Victoria D.. 2018. Enterprise Culture and the Arts: Neo-Liberal Values and British Art Institutions. In: Victoria D. Alexander; Samuli Hägg; Simo Häyrynen and Erkki Sevänen, eds. Art and the Challenge of Markets: National Cultural Politics and the Challenges of Marketization and Globalization 1. London: Palgrave, pp. 67-93. ISBN 978-3-319-64585-8


Alexander, Victoria D. and Peterson Gilbert, Oliver. 2023. The REED Typology: Understanding Market-Orientation and Instrumental Values in Cultural Policy across Europe. Cultural Trends, ISSN 0954-8963

Alexander, Victoria D. and Bowler, Anne E.. 2021. Contestation in aesthetic fields: Legitimation and legitimacy struggles in outsider art. Poetics, 84, 101485. ISSN 0304-422X

Alexander, Victoria D.; Blank, Grant and Hale, Scott A.. 2018. TripAdvisor Reviews of London Museums: A New Approach to Understanding Visitors. Museum International, 70(1-2), pp. 154-165. ISSN 1350-0775

Teaching, Area of Supervision and Professional Activities

Dr Alexander currently contributes to modules in arts management, arts and cultural theory, cultural policy and visual methds. Previously, she has taught organisational behaviour, cultural organisations and industries, sociology of the arts, visual culture and research methods (qualitative, mixed, visual, and documentary methods).

Dr Alexander will supervise PhD work in the following areas: Arts management, art worlds including understandings of artistic/creative practice, cultural organisations and industries, cultural policy, heritage, organisational behaviour, sociology of the arts, urban arts, visual culture.

Dr Alexander has been active in the sociology of the arts and in arts management. She is on the Advisory Board of the Research Network on the Sociology of the Arts, European Sociological Association, and previously served as Decana (Senior advisor), Chair, and Vice-Chair for the Network. She organised the international conference, Great Expectations: Arts and the Future, organised or co-organised numerous conference sessions on arts and culture in the US and Europe, and was Guest Editor, with Anne Bowler for a Special Issue, ‘Art at the Crossroads’ for the journal Poetics.

She led on a multi-disciplinary effort, the Surrey Light Project (EPSRC, Award Reference: EP/J501566/1), working with visual artist Tine Bech to create a light sculpture, inspired by the science of light, which was exhibited in Guildford Castle, Guildford, England.