The Rise of the Creative Class

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The book The Rise of the Creative Class introduces a new social class to us – the Creative Class – which has greatly increased since 1950s and is still booming today. According to Richard Florida, the author of the book, the Creative Class has deeply influenced the ways we work and leisure, our values and desires, our communities and everyday life. The great changes between 1900-to-1950s are driven by technology improvement such as the popularization of TV, video, and washing machine; while the tremendous changes between 1950-to-today are the dizzying social cultural changes that are driven by the booming of the Creative Class. The purpose of this book is to describe the Creative Ethos of our society which is the most important force behind the shift, and to illustrate how this admire of creativity has shaped the Creative Class and has transformed their work style, life style, community and everyday life.

The emergence of the Creative Class is the result of New Economy's demand for creativity. Today's economy is fundamentally a Creative Economy: big competitive advantages of products are derived from new designs or new accessories; new inventions are created to flourish business market; new management norms are applied to adapt this new economy. However, creativity is "not something that can be kept in a box and trotted out when one arrives at the office" (Florida, 2002). Creativity must be cultivated and motivated under appropriate social atmosphere, and nurtured by employers, by people themselves and by the communities where they locate. For the sake of this demand, the creative ethos prevails in our society and has become the behind force to reshape our social structure.

The Creative Class is used by the author to define people who add economic value through their creativity. It includes a good many knowledge workers, symbolic analysts and professional and technical workers. It is defined as an economic class; however, the economic function also determines its members' social, cultural and lifestyle preference. The core of this class includes "scientists and engineers, university professors, poets and novelists, artists, entertainers, actors, designers and architects, as well as the thought leadership of modern society: nonfiction writers, editors, cultural figures, think-tank researchers, analysts and other opinion makers" (Florida, 2002). Contrast to this new class are the Working Class who work in manufacturing, construction and transportation industries, and the Service Class which includes fields such as personal care, food service and clerical work; both are primarily paid to execute according to plan. The tremendous social changes between 1950-to-today are on account of the rise of the Creative Class which contains 30 million workers today. It is the "norm-setting" class of our time and is dominant in wealth and income; its members earn nearly twice as much on average as members of the other two classes.

Work style and workplace of the Creative Class have greatly changed. Firstly, creativity is mainly driven by intrinsic rewards, so the working satisfaction of the Creative Class is associated with many factors which can not be bought by money: challenge and responsibility, flexibility, a stable work environment and a relatively secure job, compensation, professional development, peer recognition, stimulating colleagues and managers, exciting job content, organizational culture, and location and community. Secondly, creativity is held by diversiform people; it can be provided by all colors and genders. So hiring for diversity is common today. Thirdly, the horizon labor market has substituted climbing the corporate ladder. People today prefer to pursue their careers horizontally rather than vertically, and they shift from job to job for a lot of different motivations. People identify themselves more on the occupation or profession than the company they work for. The Creative Class abandons security to pursue...
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