Creative Flows: Constructions of Meaning Between Binary Oppositions, Paradoxes and Common Sense


  • Simone D'Alessandro University of Chieti-Pescara



Is it possible to construct a stable discursive field of the term ‘creativity’? Does the construction of its meaning follow a conventional route, as with other words, or does it constitute an exception? Do creativity professionals construct meanings close to or far from common sense? What are the relationships between the term creativity and the terms freedom, constraint, routine, and innovation Starting from the above questions, this empirical research examines the construction of meaning of the term ‘creativity’ in an attempt to capture aspects “that people tend to share and take for granted, generating both recurrent patterns and variations” (Spillman, 2022, p. 24). By analysing interviews with 27 professionals working in creative and/or innovative fields, the research identifies stereotypes, rituals, binary oppositions, and paradoxical expressions present in the discursive fields of the interviewees. While scholars of the subject classify the term ‘creativity’ by means of stable and consistent definitions, professionals actually working in the creative fields come up with ambiguous, contradictory, and paradoxical definitions. With a few exceptions, the definitions recorded during the interviews are similar to common sense phrases found in the collective imagination. Creative practitioners use the same repertoires and discursive fields as everyone else and augment the rhetorical narrative of the term. Paradoxes, oscillations between polarities and ambiguous definitions given by professionals working in the creative fields show “the emerging properties that relate symbols, phenomena, contexts and people” (Donati, 2022, p. 317).

Author Biography

Simone D'Alessandro, University of Chieti-Pescara

Adjunct Professor of Sociology Research Director of Hubruzzo Responsible Industry Foundation Research Director of Carsa IsiPM Certified Project Manager - Journalist - Consultant Expert in Interpersonal, Business and Environmental Communication - Corporate trainer with 22 years of experience. 85 PUBLICATIONS FROM 1999 TO 2022 5 Articles in Class A Journals - 5 Monographs - 26 Articles in international and national Journals other than Class A - 40 Volume Essays - 9 Scientific Directions for research financed by European and national funds (n.4 published) - 8 Editorships – 3 Introductions - 1 Software




How to Cite

D’Alessandro, S. (2023). Creative Flows: Constructions of Meaning Between Binary Oppositions, Paradoxes and Common Sense. Italian Sociological Review, 13(3), 371–392.