The purpose of this paper is to suggest development of a model for examining the social functions of art with the goal that art educators might better understand and value that dimension of human activity. In recent decades individuality, self-expression, and creativity have reigned supreme to the neglect of other dimensions of art important to human welfare--functions important to maintaining the group. The more recent valuing of art of the culturally diverse and the importance of art to groups such as Blacks, Chicanos, and the elderly, and others has suggested that art educators need to understand how art functions in a social sense if that dimension of human behavior is to receive its educational due. To understand the nature and structure of art's social functions we need more precise research constructs and tools than currently exist.


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