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The Creative Underclass: Culture, Subculture, and Urban Renewal

The Creative Underclass: Culture, Subculture, and Urban Renewal THE CREATIVE UNDERCLASS: CULTURE, SUBCULTURE, AND URBAN RENEWAL GEORGE MORGAN University of Western Sydney XUEFEI REN Michigan State University Words are restless things. Their meanings change over time, usually gradually through small acts of speech and writing, but sometimes a word is redefined so rapidly as to warrant scholarly investigation, in order to uncover the historical, political, or discursive forces that destabilize accepted meanings. The word creativity has arguably undergone two such semantic revolutions. The first occurred during the Renaissance. As Williams (1988) indicates, prior to that point in history the modern notion of human creativity was largely unthinkable. “Create” was largely used in the past tense and then to refer to the handiwork of God. “Creatures” (including humans)—a word derived from the same root as creation—could not themselves be creators. It was only during the Renaissance that the role of the artist creator gained legitimacy, and with it the idea of people as originators of knowledge and culture rather than as ciphers of the divine. In the industrial era Western philosophers came to view work and creativity as antithetical. In the Marxist tradition, for example, the inexorable logic of capitalist enterprise was to rob workers of creativity, to http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Urban Affairs Taylor & Francis

The Creative Underclass: Culture, Subculture, and Urban Renewal

Journal of Urban Affairs , Volume 34 (2): 4 – May 1, 2012

The Creative Underclass: Culture, Subculture, and Urban Renewal

Journal of Urban Affairs , Volume 34 (2): 4 – May 1, 2012

Abstract

THE CREATIVE UNDERCLASS: CULTURE, SUBCULTURE, AND URBAN RENEWAL GEORGE MORGAN University of Western Sydney XUEFEI REN Michigan State University Words are restless things. Their meanings change over time, usually gradually through small acts of speech and writing, but sometimes a word is redefined so rapidly as to warrant scholarly investigation, in order to uncover the historical, political, or discursive forces that destabilize accepted meanings. The word creativity has arguably undergone two such semantic revolutions. The first occurred during the Renaissance. As Williams (1988) indicates, prior to that point in history the modern notion of human creativity was largely unthinkable. “Create” was largely used in the past tense and then to refer to the handiwork of God. “Creatures” (including humans)—a word derived from the same root as creation—could not themselves be creators. It was only during the Renaissance that the role of the artist creator gained legitimacy, and with it the idea of people as originators of knowledge and culture rather than as ciphers of the divine. In the industrial era Western philosophers came to view work and creativity as antithetical. In the Marxist tradition, for example, the inexorable logic of capitalist enterprise was to rob workers of creativity, to

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References (13)

Publisher
Taylor & Francis
Copyright
Copyright © 2012 Urban Affairs Association
ISSN
1467-9906
eISSN
0735-2166
DOI
10.1111/j.1467-9906.2012.00606.x
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

THE CREATIVE UNDERCLASS: CULTURE, SUBCULTURE, AND URBAN RENEWAL GEORGE MORGAN University of Western Sydney XUEFEI REN Michigan State University Words are restless things. Their meanings change over time, usually gradually through small acts of speech and writing, but sometimes a word is redefined so rapidly as to warrant scholarly investigation, in order to uncover the historical, political, or discursive forces that destabilize accepted meanings. The word creativity has arguably undergone two such semantic revolutions. The first occurred during the Renaissance. As Williams (1988) indicates, prior to that point in history the modern notion of human creativity was largely unthinkable. “Create” was largely used in the past tense and then to refer to the handiwork of God. “Creatures” (including humans)—a word derived from the same root as creation—could not themselves be creators. It was only during the Renaissance that the role of the artist creator gained legitimacy, and with it the idea of people as originators of knowledge and culture rather than as ciphers of the divine. In the industrial era Western philosophers came to view work and creativity as antithetical. In the Marxist tradition, for example, the inexorable logic of capitalist enterprise was to rob workers of creativity, to

Journal

Journal of Urban AffairsTaylor & Francis

Published: May 1, 2012

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