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Post-industrial society and creativity

The issues of creativity have become crucial for any society that has overcome the boundaries of the industrial system and entered into a post-industrial state of development. The main characteristics of post-industrial society, the formation of which is traced to the 1960s, are the radical intensification of scientific and technological progress, the reduction of significance of material production that is expressed in the decrease of its share in the gross national product, the development of service and information sectors, the increased role of research and innovations, and the emergence of a new social class of intellectuals, experts and technocrats (Bell, 1973).

Post-industrial society has been described as a new social formation that, as the term suggests, overcame industrial means of production as well as correlating phenomena described by Marx such as private property, market economy, and exploitation (Touraine, 1974; Masuda, 1981; Gorz, 1982; Stonier, 1983; Frankel, 1987; Rose, 1991; Hage and Powers, 1992).

As Inozemtsev (2000) notes, the objective component of post-industrial society includes the shift from material production to the tertiary sector, the transition from mass production to the production of customized or unique products, and the radical change of organizational structure. The subjective component includes the increasing dependence of society on the creative potential of its members.

Creativity has become the essential factor for both the productive process and the consumption of its results because they require knowledge and developed skills to cope with new information in a creative way.

What is yet more important is the essential change in motivation and character of human activity. This change in the motivational structure of activity has been generally described in terms of transition from labour to creativity. Labour, which is the main form of activity in the industrial society, is forced by the external necessity confined by the limits of satisfaction of the material needs of men. As such, it is governed by extrinsic or outward motivation and serves as a mechanism of alienation of people from the world and themselves. Creativity, on the contrary, is a form of activity in which the intrinsic or inward motivation is realized and which is stimulated not by the necessity of satisfaction of immediate physiological or social needs but rather by the need for perfection of the personality and its abilities. As such, creativity is a means of elimination of the phenomenon of alienation that pervaded industrial society. This conception can be traced back to Marcuse's works, especially his Eros and Civilization (Marcuse, 1955); however, in the theory of post-industrial society it has been posited as an accomplished fact rather than a project for the future. The term 'post-material' was coined by Inglehart (1977) to designate the motivation that is directed to self-realization and freedom rather than to material and social goals. He conceptualized the shift of values in post-war Western society from material to immaterial as 'the silent revolution.' The increasing domination of 'post-material' motivation in post-industrial society has had a deep impact upon the entire system of social relationships, including economic, political, and cultural relationships. The growth of 'post-material' or intrinsic motivation meant the increasing role of creativity in the formation of the new social order.

The theory of post-industrial society emphasizes the growing share of the tertiary sector in economics while the theory of information society focuses on the role of knowledge and information. Creativity is another factor that becomes conspicuous in the new social order. Toffler (1980) distinguished between three ages or waves in human history each with a specific dominant economic resource: agricultural (land and human labour), industrial (raw materials and physical labour) and creative (knowledge and creativity). Because creativity became the driving force of economic growth which raises productivity and living standards, the concepts of creative industries and creative class have been developed.

Post-industrial society and creativity. Dictionary of Creativity: Terms, Concepts, Theories & Findings in Creativity Research / Compiled and edited by Eugene Gorny., 2007.
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