Naturalist Methods in the Sociology of Creativity: The Case Against Reductionism




The Sociology of Culture has much to say when it comes to the ever-changing general consensus on what constitutes legitimate culture and definitions of creativity. The naturalistic studies on cognition in social and cognitive sciences show this empirically (Bourdieu, 1979: Becker, 1982, 2002; Sennett, 2012; Author, 2014). Creative cognition is part of an institutional context. However, the influential culturalist branch of cognitive sociology (CCS) reduces creativity to a cognitivist psychological level (Lizardo and Strand, 2010). We start from the conjecture that the Sociology of Culture can draw on the naturalistic paradigm of cognition to explain creativity without falling into reductionist or atomist positions. The authors take the diversity of theoretical-empirical proposals into account in identifying the starting points for focusing the debate at both the macro and micro levels. The body of the article comprises a literature review which, while not exhaustive, offers a full picture of the pragmatic and integrated models of creativity. The studies analysed present inter-subjective processes of creation and the transmission of variable legitimate criteria concerning cultural consumption such as categorisations, evaluations and aesthetic judgments. The sociological perspective offers scope for strengthening critical tools for examining creativity.


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Biografia de l'autor/a

Dafne Muntanyola-Saura, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona

She has a PhD in Sociology (2008) from Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB) at which she is a Lecturer. Muntanyola-Suara was an FPU scholarship student, a Caja Madrid scholarship at Université de Nice, and Fulbright Scholar at the Department of Cognitive Sceince at The University of California, San Diego (UCSD), and Lecturer at Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (UAM). Her interdisciplinary research covers interactive communication processes in artistic circles involving a component of audiovisual methodology and analysis of social networks.


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Com citar

Muntanyola-Saura, D. (2021) “Naturalist Methods in the Sociology of Creativity: The Case Against Reductionism”, Debats. Revista de cultura, poder i societat, pp. 121–133. doi: 10.28939/iam.debats-en.2021-8.