Creativity and innovation have become buzzwords used in the private and public sector, as well as in academia. But what exactly does creativity mean, and what does it entail? How can it be understood and studied sociologically? What are some of the factors, dynamics, and circumstances that foster or hinder creativity? Is creativity always a good thing, or are there forms that can be largely defined malevolent while representing, for example, a threat to public safety and also democracy? While scholars in the fields of psychology, business and organization have spearheaded this research, an emerging area of sociology argues for a distinct, novel and useful approach to the study of this phenomenon and its ramifications.This course will put you at the forefront of this research area by introducing you to key works and ideas in the sociology of creativity, and provide you with the opportunity to practice doing creative work.
Course description for study year 2021-2022
Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Media and Social Sciences
After having completed the module, the student should have acquired the following learning outcomes, in terms of knowledge, skills and general competencies:
Understand theories of creativity as a sociological process.
Understand differences and similarities in creative processes across fields.
Ability to analyze processes that contribute to the production of creative work
Ability to identify characteristics of creative settings and relationships
Ability to identify characteristics that hinder creative work.
Think more creatively
Learn to apply lessons from the sociology of creativity to both work and recreation in their own lives.
The objective of this course is to introduce undergraduate students to the sociological study of creative advances in a range of fields, including the arts, sciences, industry, and social reform. A creative advance is one that transcends conventional practices in a field and introduces an original solution to a perceived problem. Examples range from a new style of art, music or cooking, a new scientific theory or method of research, or a new way of leveraging social reform in modern society. What social conditions precipitated modern art, contributed to the double helix solution to the biochemistry of genes, or led to the invention of the McTwist in skateboarding?
The course will focus on the social conditions that make such creative advance more likely, including the type of urban environments, the network structures within organizations, and the interaction processes within small groups associated with "Big C" creative advances in a field.
Required prerequisite knowledge
Eksamen / vurdering
A - F
Method of work
The course consists of lectures and small-group seminars. Additionally, we will also watch a documentary that speaks to broader issues of creativity.
Coursework requirements: Active participation in the seminars. It is expected that all students will stay abreast of the assigned readings, and to actively and insightfully participate in the discussions. It is essential that the students read the literature prior to each lecture and seminar.