Collective Creativity: Art and Society in the South Pacific (Hardback) book cover

Collective Creativity

Art and Society in the South Pacific

By Katherine Giuffre

© 2012 – Routledge

182 pages

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Hardback: 9780754676645
pub: 2009-05-13
eBook (VitalSource) : 9781315572703
pub: 2016-05-23
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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

Anthropology and Cultural History in Asia and the Indo-Pacific
This series offers a fresh perspective on Asian and Indo-Pacific Anthropology. Acknowledging the increasing impact of transnational flows of ideas and practices across borders, the series widens the established geographical remit of Asian studies to consider the entire Indo-Pacific region. In addition to focussed ethnographic studies, the series incorporates thematic work on issues of cross-regional impact, including globalization, the spread of terrorism, and alternative medical practices. The series further aims to be innovative in its disciplinary breadth, linking anthropological theory with studies in cultural history and religious studies, thus reflecting the current creative interactions between anthropology and historical scholarship that are enriching the study of Asia and the Indo-Pacific region. While the series covers classic themes within the anthropology of the region such as ritual, political and economic issues will also be tackled. Studies of adaptation, change and conflict in small-scale situations enmeshed in wider currents of change will have a significant place in this range of foci. We publish scholarly texts, both single-authored and collaborative as well as collections of thematically organized essays. The series aims to reach a core audience of anthropologists and Asian Studies specialists, but also to be accessible to a broader multidisciplinary readership.

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Subject Categories

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