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Type: Thesis
Title: Beyond the creative quick fix : towards an understanding of creativity’s place in South Australia’s economic development agenda.
Author: Andrew, Jane Elizabeth
Issue Date: 2012
School/Discipline: School of Social Sciences
Abstract: Perspectives on the concept of creativity are widely varied. The word is used so often by so many people in so many contexts it has become a fuzzy concept. This thesis examines how conceptual contestation surrounding notions of the economic contribution of creativity through arts and cultural activity, and the increasing recognition of the contribution of creativity to regional innovation and economic development strategies, are played out in an Australian context. It examines historical antecedents surrounding notions of value and status between the applied and liberal arts on the one hand and the arts and sciences on the other and the influence this has had on contemporary academic discourse considering creativity’s role in a region’s economic development. In addition to the academic discourse stemming from economic development and innovation theory, and cultural economics, the arts, design, and cultural sectors have all undertaken advocacy based research and produced reports that seek to demonstrate their form of applied creativity’s contribution to the mainstream economy, hoping to justify government investment in the development of their industry sectors. The diversity of approaches to legitimising and understanding how and how much creativity and the creative industries contribute to economic development has resulted in a tangle of policy perspectives, strategies and investments to foster creativity as a means to strengthen regional economies. With the adoption of fostering creativity as a central element of South Australia’s Strategic Plan, a unique opportunity arose to examine the historical antecedents, and contemporary academic theories, advocacy arguments, and policy discourse that have been influential in shaping South Australia’ s current conceptualisation of where and how creativity and the creative industries contribute to the economy. The thesis examines the evolution of creativity as a key policy objective of the South Australian government and argues that it has manifested in a way that might be termed a creative quick fix. It is argued that a more holistic conception of creativity is useful as a foundation for regional development. By gaining an understanding of the origins of the tangle of competing values and policy agendas, this thesis suggests an alternative approach to conceptualising, measuring and fostering the contribution of the creative industries across all six key objectives of the South Australian strategic plan.
Advisor: Spoehr, John Douglas
Dissertation Note: Thesis (Ph.D.) -- University of Adelaide, School of Social Sciences, 2012
Keywords: creative industries; economic development policy; new economy; endogenous growth theory
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