The production of ‘creativity’

Bibliographic details

Allington, D. (2011c) ‘The production of “creativity”’. In: Swann, J., Pope, R., and Carter, R. (eds.).Creativity in language: the state of the art. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. pp. 277-289.

Extract in lieu of abstract

This chapter takes aim not only at elitists who consider creativity to be ‘a rare trait’ (Martindale 1999, p. 137) but also at populists who consider creativity on the contrary to be ‘a common property of virtually all human beings’ (Carter 2004, p. 49). It argues that both camps make the mistake of reifying a value judgement, and that, instead of perpetuating that reification, we should study the processes by which the value judgement comes to be made. From there, the chapter moves to an assessment of genre and canonisation in the symbolic production of specific cultural products and producers as ‘creative’ (especially via the retrospective construction of artistic traditions in narrative form). This account draws on a number of theoretical sources, most importantly Thomas J Roberts’s An Aesthetics of Junk Fiction (1990) and Pierre Bourdieu’s ‘The production of belief’ (1980 [1977]), to which the title alludes.


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