The lived experience of a contemporary creative identification

Taylor, Stephanie (2013). The lived experience of a contemporary creative identification. In: Chan, Janet and Thomas, Kerry eds. Handbook of Research on Creativity. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar Publishing Ltd, pp. 175–184.



Recent academic writing on the creative and cultural industries has conferred a new importance on creativity and, by extension, drawn attention to the different ways in which it has been theorised. This chapter discusses the multiple meanings and associations which creativity carries for workers themselves, based on findings from recent research with current and former art college students in London, one of the cities identified as a 'creative hub' in the international upsurge of activity associated with the contemporary creative industries. The chapter discusses the conceptions of creativity which are invoked in accounts of the sector of the cultural and creative industries. These are compared to discussions of creativity in other academic traditions, including different areas of psychology. The chapter briefly introduces the empirical research and outlines how creativity is conceptualized in the narrative-discursive approach adopted in the research. It then sets out some of the meanings around creativity which the research revealed to be play for contemporary creative workers, and discusses the implications of these meanings for the workers’ lived experience.

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