n African Journal of Science, Technology, Innovation and Development - The Rise of the Creative Class : Revisited, Richard Florida (Ed.) : book review

Volume 8, Issue 5-6
  • ISSN : 2042-1338
  • E-ISSN: 2042-1346
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The Rise of the Creative Class: Revisited, first published in 2002, is now in its second edition. The very first aspect of the book that attracts the attention of the reader is the title itself, which alludes to the role of creativity in the economy and society. Indeed, when the book was first published, it became a bestseller and took the world of urban studies, particularly in advanced countries, by storm. Although technically a novel construct, Richard Florida's concept of creativity and creative capital was criticized by several scholars, including the Harvardurban economist, Edward Glaeser, as being not very different from the already established concept of human capital (Glaeser 2004). Human capital is based on the level of skills possessed by an individual, as a result of formal education. Creativity, like human capital, gives rise to new ideas that can spur technological and economic innovation which, in turn, can lead to economic growth. In the second edition of the book, Florida addresses these criticisms and redefines the 'creativeclass' as a socioeconomic group whose distinguishing characteristic is the ability of its members to engage in such work whose function is to 'create meaningful new forms'. This ability, Florida claims, by citing the examples of entrepreneurial giants like Steve Jobs and Bill Gates, is regardless of the educational qualifications of its members and hence is fundamentally different from human capital.

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