'Localised creativity: a life span perspective'

Worth, Piers J. (2000). 'Localised creativity: a life span perspective'. PhD thesis The Open University.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.21954/ou.ro.00004d91


This thesis is based around a biographic study of the lives of 40 individuals (24 men and 16 women) with a reputation for creative work in a localised context (such as an organisation). The study examines life span development patterns from birth to middle age (45 - 60 years of age) with data gained by biographic interview and thematic analysis. Participants selected for this study are creative in that they have a reputation for producing new, novel and useful or appropriate contributions in their 'local' setting.

The study identifies two main paths to 'local' creativity within this sample. First, participants who found and related to a particular area during childhood and adolescence and developed this relationship and work from that time through their adult lives. Second, participants who, although they generally demonstrated an interest in their subsequent creative work in early life did not understand this until some later time, and consequently started developing this area later. On the whole these two groups present different patterns of childhood experience, ways of locating their domain of work, association with influential adults or role models, and changes between domains and fields of work. Their midlife experiences are similar. From midlife and middle age there are fewer differences. The findings also serve to illustrate the contribution of support received from parents and teachers in early life to creative development. They also indicate that even if a young person does not identify a domain of work activity in early life this can be found later - and that support for work in this area is usually received from influential adults and role models in their work and learning environment. Various other factors have also been considered.

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