Nelson Mandela quotes

Monday, January 26, 2009

The new social class - "the creative class"



Friends, i would like to capture your attention on a wonderful thought by Professor. Richard Florida, Public Policy Department, George Mason University. His book titled 'The rise of creative class' is a path breaking thinking by a academician on the contemporary trends in this world. The book discusses the economic, social, political, behavioral and cultural aspects of human process and phenomenon.

This book informs us about the rise of a new social class i.e Creative class. If you are a scientist, doctor or a engineer; what ever you are as an individual if you use your creativity as a key factor in your activities, then you are a member of the creative class. However, i would like to highlight one basic fact that, the author talks of emergence of such class and culture in America in particular. I request the non-American readers to be more 'creative' in understanding the authors arguments in context to their respective country. The basic line of argument is very much a global process, its only the practice which differs in variety of nations.

Here in the American context, the defining base of this new class is economic. Because creativity is the driving force behind economic growth, thus in terms of influence the creative class has become a dominant class in the society. According to me the above understanding is very much witnessed in developed economies, where there is space for creativity, and more importantly creativity is recognized and advertised world wide. What about indigenous creativity in the developing and under-developed countries. For instance, in India many creative ideas have been implemented especially in local governance and medicine as well. In the State of Karnataka, South India for the first time information technology was used to maintain online land records which is available in a jiffy. Before this reform (creative reform), government officials and farmers had a hard time to provide solution to legal cases and also did not have any data to legalize the owner of the land. This was definitely the work of some visionaries, who's creative thinking for providing solutions is very much visible and is in process as a practical example. The problem here is, in India we consider it as just any other activity and do not realize and appreciate the creativity behind this action. By this i would like to submit that, defining the creative class in economic terms as the book describe, is a very narrow definition and limited only to developed nations where economy is core of all other activities. But in countries like India, China and other developing countries very creativity can be defined by social. cultural and communitarian activity than economy. Though economy is important, but here it is more of a part of the whole process which is strongly rooted in social capital then on human capital in developed countries. Creativity is a activity which can happen in any situation or context, it is not only to do with economic content..

I hope i have opened up some creative thoughts above, and i wish whoever reads this would post some thoughts on this aspect in support or arguing against what i think......this would surely result towards a creative activity but without any 'gain' or economic intention, but purely a social and a humane activity. Looking forward for your creative support...



5 comments:

uday said...

Chetan,

I understand your argument.

Just to add to it, this is how i see creativity, or to be more precise - 'productive creativity'.

Such creativity can be looked upon as a one-time investment of time/effort/money/intelligence which will reduce the costs of the same over the next finite number of iterations of doing the same job, Thus increasing the overall throughput for the same given cost for all the latter iterations (...and hopefully deterministically).

Such a creativity should be cumulative to be more productive and could have any kind of implications - be it economical/social/cultural/political.

- Uday

Anonymous said...

Chetan, thanks for broadening the horizon on what creativity alludes to. In fact, to stretch beyond definitional and contextual issues, I would like to opine that the Western world is largely myopic and ignorant of things beyond their realm. It's like as if the world commences and terminates with them in all ways - spatially, temporally and ideologically. After visiting places around the world one gets to know how few people actually care/bother to think beyond their ken and it is hard to understand how the West assumes that non-Westerners should obviously know about their culture, politics, names of educational institutions whilst they have the gumption to give puzzled looks when told about one's (read non-Western) culture, institutions of learning and so forth. It is time they learn about pluralized ways of being and shed the tag of a stiff upper lip.

Chetan Basavaraj Singai said...

Uday, thanks for adding on the 'productive' element to the notion of creativity. To further emphasize on your thought i remember reading Geheln (Philosopher) who says, ' The acts through which individuals meets the the challenge of survival should always be considered from two angles: They are productive acts of overcoming the deficiencies and obtaining relief, on the one hand, and they are completely new means for conducting life drawn from within individuals themselves'. So creativity is not just embedded in the present, it is future oriented as well in order that individuals should master the world and survive...

shilpi said...

Interesting take on creativity. However I am not too convinced if I would like to bracket the 'Western/developed' nations as only alluding to economic aspect of creativity. We must not forget that even these countries have been home to creative ideas in literature, philosophy and thought. With all due respect to the economic take on creativity and its cumulative gains , I agree that creativity goes much beyond it.

Alternatively I am of the view that creativity is a human state, a state of being, which drives all aspects of life, though in varying degrees.To my mind, the evolution of human civilization is a manifestation of human creativity...

Ajay said...

Hi Chets
Some lines form the Rise of Creative Class ...
"If you are a scientist, doctor or a engineer; what ever you are as an individual if you use your creativity as a key factor in your activities, then you are a member of the creative class" ,
above wordings are nt cent percent acceptable as bec all's ultimate ambition is to have Fame/Money at the end of the day , this couldn't be triggered to as rise of creative class..