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Culture, Communication, and Creativity

Reframing the Relations of Media, Knowledge, and Innovation in Society

Edited By Hubert Knoblauch, Mark D. Jacobs and René Tuma

It is the premise of this volume that the rising importance of creativity in modern culture is related to dramatic changes in communication. In the last decades we have witnessed a revolutionary change in the ways we interact with one another. This transformation of the structure of communication is one of the most decisive aspects of the creativity of culture. The full aim of this volume therefore is to explore the resulting transformation in the relations of culture, creativity, and communication.
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Photographing as Creative and Communicative Action



This book investigates how culture, communication, and creativity interplay with each other and which changes have been brought about by new information and communication technologies during the past decades. Photography is genuinely interconnected with all these topics. The aims of my paper are to analyze photographing as creative and communicative action from a phenomenological perspective and to reflect on whether and how practices have changed since switching from the analog to the digital mode.

Culture, communication, and creativity can be studied from a subjective and from an objective perspective, in Weber’s and Schutz’s terms. A sociology of knowledge approach should do both, as Berger and Luckmann (1966) have proposed. My preference here is to pursue my analysis from the subjective perspective of the actor, the photographer. My theoretical frame is phenomenological sociology (cf. Eberle, 2014a), and my empirical focus is creative action while making photos. I will analyze photographing first as action, second as creative action, and third as communicative action. A final concern is, fourth, how technological change has affected photographing and the communicative uses of photos.

Photographing as Action

The constitution of sense in Schutz’s theory of action

Following a distinction made by Max Weber (1978 [1922]), Alfred Schutz (1967[1932]) emphasized the difference between the subjective and objective senses of action. Like Weber, Schutz was convinced that sociology must be conceived of as a theory of action and that it is crucial...

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