Reframing the Relations of Media, Knowledge, and Innovation in Society
Edited By Hubert Knoblauch, Mark D. Jacobs and René Tuma
Creativity as Dispositif
To study creativity from a sociological point of view, there are in principle two alternatives: either creativity is understood as a basic quality and requirement of the social and of social action per se; or creativity is analyzed as a very specific social and cultural constellation itself, as a product of the social, above all in modern or postmodern times.
In any case, sociologically, creativity is to be envisaged from a different angle compared with the ubiquitous psychological analyses of this phenomenon. Most psychological studies of creativity, which since Joy Paul Guilford’s seminal lecture during the congress of the American Psychological Association in 1950 have been flourishing, take creativity as a universal mental capacity which can be trained by additional psychological techniques (cf. Runco 2007). Whenever creativity is of interest to sociology, though, it must be seen as a social and cultural phenomenon. But this sociality can refer to two different constellations: On the plane of a general social theory, creativity in the broad sense of the ever going evolving of the new—of new socially relevant events or of new human actions respectively—can be detected as a structural feature which is inherent in “the social,” be it social interactions or social practices, communication or social processes. Creativity is here so to speak a basic requirement of the social. Heinrich Popitz’s (1997) and Hans Joas’s (1992) account of creativity take this track. So does—in an entirely different way and while...