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Posted by Vlad Glaveanu at 11:07 - 0 Comments
It is exasperatingly common to hear the ‘thinking outside the box’ remark in relation to creativity. This is so not because challenging ‘boxed’ thinking is not very useful in itself, but because those who utter this phrase rarely reflect on its meaning and implications. Paradoxically, on many occasions, being invited to think outside the box ends up creating a new box. This is the ‘creativity box’, built to separate creative expression from other types of thought and behaviour. It is a widespread belief among both researchers and lay people that creativity as a personal quality, as a certain kind of problem solving, is different from the stuff of everyday life. When we make breakfast, when we take the same way to school or to work, when we watch TV and do the laundry we are presumably very much inside the usual box of routines or habits. We don’t create new objects, ideas or actions because we are too busy repeating the same kind of activity we got used to in the most efficient manner possible. We rarely think actually in these circumstances. We ‘consume’ products, ideas, ways of doing things without bringing anything new, personal, worth of being seen and appreciated by others.
16/11/2012
Value as process
Posted by Vlad Glaveanu at 11:31 - 1 Comments
Questions about value and its emergence stand at the core of many disciplines across the social sciences and the humanities. This is how, today, we have philosophical reflections on value, we enjoy pragmatic definitions given by economists, structural approaches specific for sociology and subjectivist approaches typical for psychology, and even get to be annoyed by rhetorical takes on the notion employed in political discourses and mass-media communication. Value, it is claimed, is “produced”, it “exists”, can be “increased”, and sometimes (unfortunately) is “lost”. But who exactly are the actors of value creation, maintenance and loss and where exactly do we need to look to find value and measure it? These, it seems, are pressing questions for any student of marketing and consumer behaviour.
Posted by Vlad Glaveanu at 9:56 - 0 Comments
The age-old question of where creativity (or creation more generally) comes from and what it is has become something of a modern obsession. Pick up any newspaper, read any job application, any company’s mission statement or (if you fancy) any post on dating websites and there it is! Creativity is wanted, desired, required, shown, cultivated, etc.etc. But what IS IT actually? Nobody can tell. And this is because, just like many other abstract notions that we often use in daily life, the scientific definition becomes almost irrelevant. We operate with more or less overlapping ‘implicit’ definitions of creativity and, even for one and the same person, its meaning can change from one context to the next. In a sense this is creativity turning onto itself, constant re-creation and liberation from the constraints of science and its systems of classification.
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