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CREATIVITY NARRATIVES AMONG COLLEGE STUDENTS: Sociability and Everyday Creativity

The Sociological Quarterly, 51 (2010) 122-149

Mark A. Pachucki
Department of Sociology, Harvard University
Jennifer C. Lena
Department of Sociology, Vanderbilt University
Steven J. Tepper
Department of Sociology, Vanderbilt University

Despite foundations in early pragmatism, research on social patterning of creative action has been scarce in the multidisciplinary literature on creativity.We address this by exploring how students perceive their creative contributions to college life. By analyzing narratives, we find that the majority of creativity is associated with everyday experiences and social interactions, in contrast to a popular and scholarly focus on extraordinary individual achievement in domains like art and science. We also find strong trends in sociability as students negotiate both “where they stand” with regards to those around them as well as “how they stand out” as individuals.

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