Creativity as Dissent and Resistance: Transformative Approach Premised on Social Justice Agenda

  • Anna StetsenkoEmail author
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Creativity and Culture book series (PASCC)


The idea in this paper is to lodge the creativity construct within the project of understanding human development as having to do, at the very core, with its transformative rather than adaptive, conformist nature. This project is also, and non-coincidentally, about ascertaining fundamental equality of all human beings. In the transformative activist stance (TAS) approach, there are no impenetrable walls separating any one person from the most prolific “giants” history has ever known. The gist of this anti-elitist view is that all humans can be credited with the amazingly creative, transformative agency and creativity in their seemingly—only seemingly!—mundane and ordinary lives. The core of creativity, like freedom, is about dissent, resistance, discord, challenge, critique, and ultimately, about acts of moving beyond what is given, a process that transcends (or deconstructs) the status quo and its entrenched structures, phenomena, and elements. Every human encounter and action are always novel, unrepeatable, and creative. Along these lines, creativity studies, which too often comply with the canons of mainstream approaches, potentially can be revolutionized to challenge the many myths of its own creation.


Transformative agency Activist stance Equality Social justice Vygotsky Bakhtin 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Programs in Psychology/Human Development and in Urban EducationThe Graduate Center of The City University of New YorkNew YorkUSA

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