“Creativity” is a buzzword in various areas and fields, from education to business and innovation, psychology and creative industries, where it primarily appears as positive and valuable. In western countries, creativity has strong connections to notions of childhood: especially young children are often seen as ‘naturally creative’, much more than adults are.
Coming from the field of critical child studies, I take a starting point in questioning these taken-for-granted ideas. I ask, what happens if we presume that children are not creative, but are made into creative? Who is it in the first place that insists on children’s inherent creative potential and to what ends? What social, cultural, emotional as well as economic values are attributed to “creative children” and the products of their imagination when creativity becomes a commodity? These are a few of the questions that guide me in the beginning of my dissertation project, where I explore how the image of “the creative child” is done with various media, on- and off-line, with a special focus on visual materials and visual culture.
I am also interested in creative research methodologies, as well as status, fates and fortunes of creativity in academic settings. Would a creativity study benefit the most from a creative methodology? I take special interest in the “new wave” of childhood studies and other approaches that encourage self-reflexive research and pay attention to the process of academic writing.