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Dangerous Liaisons: Bridging Micro and Macro Levels in Creativity Research

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Multidisciplinary Contributions to the Science of Creative Thinking

Part of the book series: Creativity in the Twenty First Century ((CTFC))

Abstract

Research on creativity is generally at the level of the individual, but scholars are beginning to offer conceptual frameworks at higher analytical levels: careers, social network s and institutional field s. This work approaches creativity as emerging from biographical transposition and relational flows across social network s. Ambiguity and heterogeneity are the raw materials of creativity, unfolding through mechanisms of spillover , transposition and recombination . The chapter reviews work in the macro-level tradition and discusses the existing gap between micro and macro levels in creativity research. Bridging this gap involves a dual process: showing how structural processes create idea-conducive conditions and how personality and identity make it possible to harness the conditions. To that end, a cross-level method is proposed, encompassing identity , network s and the field . It is applied to two cases: Laclos’ novel Les Liaisons Dangereuses and Diaghilev’s Les Ballets Russes. If generally believed that creativity is facilitated by openness, it can also be helped by blockage, when blocked mobility inverses career paths and transposes ideas and practices across social domains. As shown, unexpected career shifts introduce contradictions, force improvisation and promote emotional ambivalence—factors associated with the capacity to forge new connections. People do not always make new combinations: these are sometimes made for them.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    The graph is available online at the following HTML address: https://books.google.com/ngrams/graph?content=intrigue%2C+liaison&year_start=1700&year_end=1900&corpus=7&smoothing=3&share=&direct_url=t1%3B%2Cintrigue%3B%2Cc0%3B.t1%3B%2Cliaison%3B%2Cc0.

  2. 2.

    “Germany Divided’—Duerckheim collection at the British Museum” by Jackie Wullschlager, The Financial Times, published online on 31/01/2014. Retrieved on 04/05/2014.

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Correspondence to Stoyan V. Sgourev .

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Sgourev, S.V. (2016). Dangerous Liaisons: Bridging Micro and Macro Levels in Creativity Research. In: Corazza, G., Agnoli, S. (eds) Multidisciplinary Contributions to the Science of Creative Thinking. Creativity in the Twenty First Century. Springer, Singapore. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-287-618-8_7

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-287-618-8_7

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