Chapter 3: Complexity thinking as a coordinating theoretical framework for creative industries research
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The chapter starts by reviewing current trends in the research on creative industries across social sciences and humanities. It considers the importance of social sciences in stretching our understanding from individual creativity and labour to the knowledge of production system and supply chains in creative industries. It also reviews how humanities are contributing to a new understanding of the importance of memory, histories and digital self for a better understanding of where content and knowledge is developed for creative industries. However, the chapter also highlights the disconnect of academic knowledge and research and the limited understanding on interdisciplinary work and knowledge. It proposes that a complexity perspective can contribute towards a better understanding of current and future knowledge developed around creative industries. It considers how complexity might help integrate knowledge at different scales, which currently remains siloed. Specifically, connecting interactions between creative practitioners in designing products and processes (micro), interactions between creative industries within local clusters or the role of cultural infrastructure within regions (meso), and the interaction between creativity, place image and its global reach and connections (macro). These allow for bridging issues and understanding across scales but also disciplinary boundaries and space from the local to the global connections. Furthermore, it considers the value of long-term research in this field and reviews the lack of longitudinal studies, proposing the importance of more large and longitudinal research funding to be developed to enable such important work to take place.

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