Definition of social realism in US English:

social realism


  • The realistic depiction in art of contemporary life, as a means of social or political comment.

    • ‘This unity of abstraction and social realism was also characteristic of Lawrence's work, and something he shared with other artists of the period between the First and Second World Wars.’
    • ‘Lenses would have similarly revolutionary consequences in art as painters like Vermeer used them to paint with great social realism and in medicine as scientists like Hooke used them to discover cells.’
    • ‘Urban classics, such as Taxi Driver, The Conversation, and The French Connection, all derived their gritty images of social realism, at least indirectly, from the European styles of film-making.’
    • ‘A flat, conventionalised pattern, similar to designs by Owen Jones, signifies progressive taste, and would have immediately conveyed a sense of social realism.’
    • ‘He sees hanging on the wall in a room the painting he desired most to possess, the painting of a working-class suburb done in accordance with the then prevailing ideology of social realism.’
    • ‘The novel seems influenced less by the naturalism or social realism that we typically associate with Wright and more by modernist aesthetic and thematic concerns.’
    • ‘The social realism of the original gives way to the drawing's somber reflections.’
    • ‘Sternberg eased into a more editorializing brand of social realism after touring Pennsylvania steel and coal towns while funded by a 1936 Guggenheim grant.’
    • ‘In contrast to the themes of social realism and regional life that characterized American art of previous decades, these artists valued, above all, individuality and spontaneous improvisation.’
    • ‘His figurative style might best be characterized as thrift-store social realism.’
    • ‘After 1939 local publishing flourished in the absence of competition from overseas companies, a factor which helped consolidate the novel as the preferred literary genre and social realism as the dominant literary style.’
    • ‘It was a new kind of theatre, naturalistic, exploring social realism and psychological truth, the kind of theatre we take for granted today.’
    • ‘Every now and then, in a film industry increasingly focused on bleak social realism and raising the stakes for who wins the latest shock factor competition, a director surprises you and creates a strikingly beautiful film.’
    • ‘Certainly social realism, naturalism and similar conceptions can and have produced great art and literature.’
    • ‘Loach himself subsequently moved towards a more naturalistic style, often improvised and usually referred to as social realism.’
    • ‘Bearden explored a variety of styles in the 1940s, ranging from social realism to figurative abstraction.’
    • ‘His very particular brand of social realism has driven all his work and has had admirable political impact (most notably a change to homeless laws after a series of docudramas he made in the '60s).’
    • ‘The birth of social realism in the early 1930s encompassed all the arts, including photography.’
    • ‘Later, Wolfe became a novelist himself, to show his peers how Dickensian social realism should be done.’
    • ‘Through all the variations in mood and technique, he seeks to combine social realism with stylistic experiments, bold photography, and expressive use of the widescreen shape.’


social realism

/ˈsōSHəl ˈrē(ə)ˌlizəm/