A System Model for Subjective Wellbeing: Implications for the Industrialization of Creativity
Shields, Robert Brian
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In the early 21st century, the industrialization of creativity is a defining framework of economic and creative life in the global market. It drives policies and decisions in national and local governments, in workplace and educational administrative departments, in communities and in the private creative lives of individuals. The creative economy is based on GDP as an indicator of economic wellbeing and of individual and group welfare. However, harnessing creativity to meet such metric goals necessitates a constrained, fragmented and prescriptive conception of creativity that seemed, in practice, to have paradoxically negative effects on both creativity and wellbeing. In response, the work in this dissertation suggests a conception of creativity that accounts for the intrinsic and reciprocal relationship between creativity and human-centred quality of life. It also reveals specific weaknesses in the objective metric model. Trans-disciplinary research identifies salient intersections between wellbeing and creativity and leads to a proposed systems model of Subjective Creative Wellbeing (SCWB). The permeable subsystems of the model attempt to account for interdependent psychophysiological and socio-environmental forces, states, and behaviours that occur in and facilitate SCWB. The framework assumes that creative domains are analogous to cultures; thus both individuals and creative domains can be positioned as the self-system of the model. Findings suggest that the contingent assemblage of economics-politics-technology-creativity aligned with neoliberal creative and knowledge economies is detrimental the temporal, physical, social, motivational, and self-regulatory subsystems of the SCWB model, thereby contributing to dysfunction in the self-system. The model and associated research can better inform policy and institutional decision-making, and can assist in advocating for, fostering, and facilitating the creative wellbeing of individuals, cultures and creative domains.