Collective Creativity: Art and Society in the South Pacific, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Collective Creativity

Art and Society in the South Pacific, 1st Edition

By Katherine Giuffre


182 pages

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Collective Creativity offers an analysis of the explosion of artistic creativity currently taking place on the South Pacific island of Rarotonga. By exploring the construction of this art-world through the ways in which creativity and innovation are linked to social structures and social networks, this book investigates the social aspects of making fine art in order to present a ’collective’ theory of creativity. With a close examination of tourism, galleries and, of course, the artists themselves, Katherine Giuffre presents a detailed picture of a complex and multi-faceted community through the words of the art-world participants themselves. Theoretically sophisticated, yet grounded with rich empirical data, this book will appeal not only to anthropologists with an interest in the South Pacific, but also to scholars concerned with questions of ethnicity, creativity, globalization and network analysis.


'Guiffre combines shrewd participant observation with network analysis to capture the emergence of an art world in Rarotonga. Identities vie with ethnicity for dominance, as do paintings with crafts, during a decade of contentions on and off the island. Central to her analysis is the paradoxical interplay of canons with collectors across auctions and galleries, all triggered by tourism plus exchange with New Zealand.' Harrison White, Columbia University, USA 'Drawing theoretical and methodological inspiration from sources as varied as Becker, Bourdieu, and social network research, Katherine Giuffre opens up new avenues for the analysis of artistic creativity. An inquiry richly informed by historical, ethnographic, and documentary research, this book reaffirms the collective nature of artistic innovation and uncovers in remarkable detail the social and relational processes at its core. This wonderful book will become an indispensable point of reference for cultural analysts, students of art worlds, social network researchers, and sociologists of modernity and globalization.' Mustafa Emirbayer, University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA 'Overall there is no doubt that the author has carried out meticulous fieldwork and generated a great deal of interesting and detailed observations and findings about the internal workings of the art market…' Journal of Tourism Consumption and Practice

About the Author

Katherine Giuffre is an Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology at Colorado College, USA

About the Series

Anthropology and Cultural History in Asia and the Indo-Pacific

This series offers a comprehensive view of Asian and Indo-Pacific anthropology and cultural history. It carries studies from China, Japan, South-East Asia, South Asia, and the entire Pacific region, including Australia and New Zealand. Focusing mainly on detailed ethnographic studies, the series further incorporates pressing thematic work on issues of cross-regional impact, gender and globalization, precarity, refugees, and asylum-seekers, and alternative medical and wellness-seeking practices. The series aims to link anthropological theory with history and religious studies, with discussions of ritual, politics, religious change, and economics. Studies of adaptation and conflict in small-scale situations enmeshed in wider scale processes of transformation form a particular thematic focus. The series aims to reach a core audience of specialists in Asian and Pacific studies, but also to be accessible and valuable to a broader multidisciplinary readership.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Anthropology / General