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Monday, September 24, 2012

America's Perception of the Creative Class: Where's the Love?



Back in April, online publication Salon posted an article that took a close look at how the creative class seems to be viewed and portrayed by mainstream America. The over-arching theme of the article is that those in creative professions get no sympathy. They are seen as pampered and entitled, in the image of the few but widely publicized stars in their field. They are viewed "neither as the salt of the earth by the left, nor as a 'job creator' by the right." While jobs in the creative class were amongst the hardest hit during the years leading up to and during the Great Recession (“'Musical groups and artists' plummeted by 45.3 percent between August 2002 and August of 2011"), the sympathetic plight of the "working man" seems reserved for those in manufacturing, farming, or general "business". Somehow, the idea that artists are supposed to struggle has become a commonly accepted near-truism.

Why is this? Why the disconnection and distinction between those in creative professions and those in more "tangible" professions? Scott Timberg of Salon explores several possible reasons, from the pragmatic principles of our country's early Puritan settlers to the falsely democratizing effects of technological innovation, in a wonderfully crafted editorial. Do yourself a favor and read this article. After all, in order to begin changing the discussions and perception that surround creative value, we must first try to understand where the existing assumptions come from.

Read "No Sympathy for the Creative Class" from Salon here: http://www.salon.com/2012/04/22/no_sympathy_for_the_creative_class/


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