Rethinking Creativity: Contributions from social and cultural psychology, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Rethinking Creativity

Contributions from social and cultural psychology, 1st Edition

Edited by Vlad Petre Glăveanu, Alex Gillespie, Jaan Valsiner


144 pages | 1 B/W Illus.

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Despite more than half a century of psychological research on creativity we are still far from a clear understanding of the creative process, its antecedents and consequences and, most of all, the ways in which we can effectively support creativity. This is primarily due to a narrow focus on creative individuals isolated from culture and society. Rethinking Creativity proposes a fundamental review of this position and argues that creativity is not only a psychological but a sociocultural phenomenon.

This edited volume aims to relocate creativity from inside individual minds to the material, symbolic and social world of culture. It brings together eminent social and cultural psychologists who study dynamic, transformative and emergent phenomena, and invites them to conceptualise creativity in ways that depart from mainstream definitions and theoretical models existing in past and present literature on the topic. Chapters include reflections on the relationship between creativity and difference, creativity as a process of symbolic transformation, the role of apprenticeships and collaboration, the importance of considering materiality and affordances in creative work, and the power of imagination to construct individual trajectories.

The diverse contributions included in this book offer readers multiple pathways into the intricate relationship between mind, culture, and creativity, and invite them to rethink these phenomena in ways that foster creative action within their own life and the lives of those around them. It will be of key interest to both social and cultural psychologists, as well as to creativity researchers and those who, as part of their personal or professional life, try to understand creativity and develop creative forms of expression.

Table of Contents

Preface: The Sociocultural Approach to Creativity Keith Sawyer Editors’ Introduction: Entering into the Creativity Zone, on the Border Between the Mundane and the Monstrous Jaan Valsiner, Vlad Petre Glăveanu and Alex Gillespie 1. Creativity out of Difference: Theorising the Semiotic, Social and Temporal Origin of Creative Acts Vlad Petre Glaveanu and Alex Gillespie 2. Creativity as Symbolic Transformation Brady Wagoner 3. Creative Engagement Across the Lifespan Vera John-Steiner 4. Canonical Affordances and Creative Agency Alan Costall 5. Life-Creativity: Imagining One’s Life Tania Zittoun and Constance de Saint-Laurent 6. The Creativity of the Social: Imagination, Development and Social Change in Rio de Janeiro’s Favelas Sandra Jovchelovitch 7. Creativity and the Generative Approach to Culture and Meaning Cor Baerveldt and James Cresswell 8. The Socio-Materiality of Creativity: A Case Study of the Creative Processes in Design Work Lene Tanggaard 9. Discussing Creativity from a Cultural Psychological Perspective Alex Gillespie, Cor Baerveldt, Alan Costall, James Cresswell, Constance de Saint-Laurent, Vlad Glaveanu, Vera John-Steiner, Sandra Jovchelovitch, Keith Sawyer, Lene Tanggaard, Jaan Valsiner, Brady Wagoner and Tania Zittoun

About the Editors

Vlad Glaveanu is Associate Professor in the Department of Communication and Psychology, Aalborg University, Denmark, and Research Associate in the Institute of Psychology, Paris Descartes University, France.

Alex Gillespie is Lecturer in Social Psychology in the Department of Psychology, London School of Economics, UK.

Jaan Valsiner is Niels Bohr Professor of Cultural Psychology at Aalborg University, Denmark, and Professor of Psychology and English at Clark University, USA.

About the Series

Cultural Dynamics of Social Representation

The series Cultural Dynamics of Social Representation is dedicated to bringing the scholarly reader new ways of representing human lives in the contemporary social sciences. It is a part of a new direction – cultural psychology – that has emerged at the intersection of developmental, dynamic and social psychologies, anthropology, education, and sociology. It aims to provide cutting-edge examinations of global social processes, which for every country are becoming increasingly multi-cultural. Therefore, social sciences need new ways of considering how to study human lives in their globalizing contexts. The focus of this series is the social representation of people, communities, and – last but not least – the social sciences themselves.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
PSYCHOLOGY / Social Psychology
PSYCHOLOGY / Creative Ability