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Abstract

This review integrates diverse characterizations of creativity from a sociological perspective with the goal of reinvigorating discussion of the sociology of creativity. We start by exploring relevant works of classical social theory to uncover key assumptions and principles, which are used as a theoretical basis for our proposed definition of creativity: an intentional configuration of cultural and material elements that is unexpected for a given audience. Our argument is enriched by locating creativity vis-à-vis related concepts—such as originality, knowledge, innovation, atypicality, and consecration—and across neighboring disciplines. Underlying the discussion are antecedents (structure, institutions, and context) and consequences (audiences, perception, and evaluation), which are treated separately. We end our review by speculating on ways in which sociologists can take the discussion of creativity forward.

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2020-07-30
2024-04-13
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