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The Sociology of Creativity: Part I: Theory: The Social Mechanisms of Innovation and Creative Developments in Selectivity Environments
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology.
2015 (English)In: Human Systems Management, ISSN 0167-2533, E-ISSN 1875-8703, Vol. 34, no 3, 179-199 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Creativity is a universal activity, essential in an evolutionary perspective, to adaptation and sustainability. This first part of a three part article on the sociology of creativity has three purposes: (1) to develop the argument that key factors in creative activity are socially based and developed; hence, sociology can contribute significantly to understanding and explaining human creativity; (2) to present a sociological systems approach which enables us to link in a systematic and coherent way the disparate social factors and mechanisms that are involved in creative activity and to describe and explain creativity; and (3) to illustrate a sociological systems theory’s conceptualization of multiple interrelated institutional, cultural, and interaction factors and their role in creativity and innovative development in diverse empirical instances.

The article introduces and applies a model stressing the social embeddedness of innovative agents and entrepreneurs, either as individuals or groups, as they manipulate symbols, rules, technologies, and materials that are socially derived and developed. Their motivation for doing what they do derives in part from their social roles and positions, in part in response to the incentives and opportunities – many socially constructed – shaping their interaction situations and domains. Their capabilities including their social powers derive from the culturally and institutional frameworks in which they are embedded. In carrying out their actions, agents mobilize resources including technologies through the institutions and networks in which they participate. Following this theoretical part, Parts II and III focus on the concrete conditions and mechanisms characteristic of the “context of innovation” and the “context of receptivity and institutionalization”, respectively. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
IOS Press, 2015. Vol. 34, no 3, 179-199 p.
Keyword [en]
creativity, innovation, system theories, agency, rule regime, innovative development, production function, context of creativity, context of receptivity and selectivity
National Category
Social Sciences Sociology
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-263216DOI: 10.3233/HSM-150839OAI: diva2:857321
Available from: 2015-09-28 Created: 2015-09-28 Last updated: 2015-10-07Bibliographically approved

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