Het beste van Philosophy of Social Science


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Philosophy of Social Science is een derdejaars vak waarin studenten kennis maken met de belangrijkste ideeën van de filosofie en de bijbehorende debatten. Centraal staat de strijd tussen de sociale wetenschappen en de natuurwetenschappen. Studenten wordt gevraagd hier kritisch op te reflecteren. Onze medestudenten  zetten behoorlijk wat interessant gedachtegoed op papier in de bijbehorende opdracht. Gedachtegoed dat door de docent die de essays heeft nagekeken, Martin Boisen, zelf wordt beschreven als ‘inhoudelijk zeer interessant en goed’ en waarvan wij denken dat het alleen daarom al zonde is dat het alleen maar door een docent ter beoordeling is gelezen. Daarom besteden wij in deze editie van ‘De beste van…’ aandacht aan de essays van Wolbert van der Haar en Floor van Haaren.

Wolbert van der Haar was ten tijde van het schrijven van zijn essay schakelstudent en is op dit moment masterstudent Sociale Planologie. Wolbert schreef zijn essay over gated communities en vroeg zich af waarom deze gesloten gemeenschappen bestaan. Zijn inspiratie vond hij in het dorp Wanneperveen.

Floor van Haaren was ten tijde van het schrijven van zijn essay schakelstudent en is op dit moment masterstudent Real Estate Studies. Floor gebruikt Richard Florida’s theorie over het belang van creativiteit en legt een relatie met economische groei.

‘Gated Communities – Why?’

The reason for choosing Gated Communities (GC’s) as topic for my individual essay is near my hometown, to be precisely, in the village Wanneperveen, where there is a GC’s to recon. Actually a ‘privately owned neighborhood (pon), in my introduction I will reflect upon the differences between both living arrangements. I have been there now for several times, to visit a friend, and see this keep-out sign for non-destination traffic in front of the neighborhood and observe one particular group: highly educated people.  I asked my friend: “Do you know your neighbors well?” He responded with: “No actually, I never talked to them before. We only say hi to each other, nothing more”. I was like, wtf and asked myself: “Why?”

In this essay, I elaborate on the philosophical framework of this concept of GC’s and PON’s. The essay attempts to find reasons for people to live in these living arrangements. In the introduction I will briefly state the differences between a gc’s in comparison with a pon’s, explain some reasons of these upcoming neighborhoods and give an overview of the Dutch situation. Furthermore, I will focusses on the process of ‘theory’ of place attachment and argue that theorizing is not an option in social science (s-s). Then I am going to discuss the notion of the constitutive-outside from Jacques Derrida, what I came across after doing some research. Maybe, the notion can give us an inside for the question opposed in the prologue. Thereafter I will discuss the methodology of the proposed research and conclude the essay by addressing the questions: “Where are we going?”, “Is this desirable?”, “What should be done?” and “Who gains and who loses?”.

In literature, a distinction is made between ‘pon’s’ and ‘gc’s’. GC’s is defined as residential developments (e.g. exclusive recreation developments) that are enclosed by walls, fences or landscaping, which serve as a physical barrier for entry into the district. Houses, streets, sidewalks and privately owned amenities are detached from people living outside the community. Access to the residential areas is limited, and is often regulated by gates and security personnel (Atkinson & Flint, 2004, Vesselinow & Cazessus, 2007). Pon’s, on the other hand, are characterized by privately managed public spaces, which are publicly accessible though (Glasze, 2006).

A development that occurred in the last couple of years is the privatization of usage of land supply, worldwide (Banerjee and Munger, 2004). In literature, different explanations for this emergence are given. Blandy and Parsons (2003) argue that citizens want more authority, and influence within their environment. Furthermore, Frantz (2003) argues that citizens perceive government policies, for public spaces, as failures, and argues that this is the main reason for the rise of gated communities. Mike Davis recognized this phenomenon in an article from 1990, (The City Reader, 2011: 195); where he showed upcoming neighborhoods in Los Angeles take a prominent place in the built environment.

In the Netherlands, the number of pon’s is growing (Lohof & Reijndorp, 2006). Several people worry about this growth, because some compare the manifestations with gc’s (Nabielek & Schluchter, 2009). Low (2001) argues that GC’s are symbolic for a negative outcome for social capital in a city. It is, therefore, an important topic to investigate, especially for the Dutch situation, since it is a relatively new phenomenon. Main questions for research could be; “What consequences do pon’s have for people, and public places?”, “To what extend are policy makers involved?” and the question posted at the prologue:  “What are the reasons for people to live in these forms of communities?”

After doing some research on the topic and attended lectures of philosophy, I came across an article of Scannell and Gifford (2009). They argue that the questions posted above are a direct link to the tripartite model of ‘place attachment’. Various definitions of this concept exist, and, therefore, they created a model, which attempts to theorize and organize place attachment. “The first dimension (see Fig. 1) is the actor: who is attached? To what extent is the attachment based on individually and collectively held meanings? The second dimension is the psychological process: how are affect, cognition, and behavior manifested in the attachment? The third dimension is the object of the attachment, including place characteristics: what is the attachment to, and what is the nature of, this place?”

The model could help to explain why people are living in GC’s. Is it the physical or the social elements that attracts the most attention towards the citizens of GC’s?

Nevertheless, I have a critical notion towards this theorizing practice. In my opinion, the labelling  exercise what is mainly used to come to an organized article as a whole, bring some difficulties with them. For example how to distinguish physical factors from social ones; whether a place is more open or closed can be both physically and socially determined or better said the social representations of the physical also plays a role or is it the physical representation of the social?

S-s is in a constant stage of reorganization, characterized by multiple directions. Therefore, the conditions of s-s can be described as “pre-paradigmatic”. In Flyvbjerg (2001), two reasons are stated: human activity is more complex than objects in the natural science (n-s) and the s-s is relatively young in comparison with n-s. Foucault argues it’s just a matter of time the s-s reaches the paradigmatic stage like the n-s. However, s-s remains behind, this because it is unable to produce stable and predictive theories. This constraint lays in the fact that context counts. The paradox to make an ‘ideal theory’ in the s-s is the prediction of social activity using abstract context independent theory. To be predictive, s-s need to abstract from context dependent elements. This means context exclusion of human activity, but this exclusion of context makes explanation and prediction of humans impossible (Flyvbjerg, 2001).  Therefore, if I were doing research on gated communities and answering the questions stated in the introduction, I would not use the model of place attachment.

GC’s are an example of where social and physical differences come together but where planning attempts to intentionally separate them. Several observations can be stated from the above story and overall about GC’s:

  • Is it this physical gate (or sign what I see as barrier in my case), that separate members of the community from the outside world or is it more to keep outsiders (minorities) outside?
  • Or is it the social construct of the gate that separates insiders from outsiders?

A question we can ask our self: On which manner are members of the community and outsiders separated and united?

The observation leads to the philosophical constitutive-outside explanation of Jacques Derrida. It offers an epistemological critique of geographers to theoretical framing, like we see in the tripartite model. Briefly the constitutive outside suggest the impossibility of a sharp drawing of borders, stresses the reciprocal character of processes on either side of porously construed borders, and reflects on how any given identity or center is in fact constituted by it others (Natter & Jones, 1997). This conception of constitutive-outside dependence is in line with the post-structuralism method of deconstruction, a form of analysis that demonstrates the reliance of the center on its excluded other.

I could now explain what deconstruction means, however I would like to focues on the constitutive-outside further. Let me say that I still do not really know what it means exactly. What I can observe is that the barriers that are used, do more harm than good in my opinion. What I understand from the constitutive-outside, people are still connected with each other, with or without these barriers. It creates a social ‘gap’ between these two groups in civil society. The segregation, like Saskia Sassen argues in her article: “The Impact of the New Technologies and Globalization on Cities”, is an example of this phenomenon. The aversion that people have towards these form of pon’s are being emphasized due to the use of big walls, barriers or in my case keep-out signs. A nice quote from my step-dad is here in place (a former farmer). When I am going to Wanneperveen with friends to chill out with the boat, he is always telling me: “So you are going to the anti-socials again?” I think that says enough about the aversion that rises against these pon’s.

What I recon during the literature research on gc’s/pon’s, was the overwhelming use of qualitative research methods.  I oppose for a more postmodern approach with the use of mixed-methods. As Flyvbjerg argues in his book ‘mssm’, there is a synergy possible between n-s and s-s, a both/and approach. A reason for me is that we do not want to exclude anything from the object of study. Everything is interrelated with each other, as the constitutive-outside show us, regardless of the gate between both groups. Therefor I have to concentrate on both sides of the ‘gate’ to have a broader perspective. A further in-depth perspective can be made: humans constitute both sciences. They are at the same time subject and object. The labelling process mentioned before is for this reason a difficult method to use. The use of such typology is a constraint for yourself; it forces you to think in ‘boxes’. It is not wrong to use, it could be too simple though. I have to be aware of this limitation.

“The study of human activity, based on people’s own interpretation, can only be as stable as these interpretations.” Giddens (in Flyvbjerg, 2001) argues a distinction between interpretation and self-interpretation, what he calls ‘double hermeneutics’.  There are two interpretations to distinguish; self-interpretations among those people whom are the object of study and the self-interpretations of the researchers. Both are vital to for doing qualitative research. The interpretations are therefor always context-dependent and thus a difficult matter.

I want to emphasize on the interpretation of the people whom are going to be studied. This hermeneutic relates to Max Weber’s ‘verstehen’, which accentuate understanding as distinct from explanation. Verstehen is i.e. that one cannot see, what they do not know or where one is not aware of. Understanding situations is therefore a rational perception of their own mind frame. Weber perceives a strong dependence on the person and sees a strong linkage with the concept of bias.

During literature research, I noticed the high crime rates were often used as an argument for living in GC’s. Low (2001) noticed that the numbers, used in the media about crime rates, are not real or heavily overdone. This links up with the notion of ‘verstehen’, the media thus therefor bias people. In addition, I want to connect ‘verstehen’ with the earlier posted approach of mixed methods. Imagine verstehen as a raster, all observations on the object that are going through this raster, relies on what the researcher already knows. Therefor I suggest a multidisciplinary approach, different kind of researchers with multiple backgrounds that are investigating the same object (“Why are people living in such communities?”).

To come back at the questions stated in the abstract about the “Where, Is, What and Who”, I will briefly answering them one by one. In my opinion, the direction of the phenomenon GC’s is one to be fitted in the individualization of the world (addressed by Putnam in his article ‘Bowling Alone’ in the City Reader). The desirability of this trend is a negative outcome for how we know the city. Due to this upcoming GC’s all over the world, citizens are becoming more and more physical divided. This will have a devastating effect on the social capital, earlier mentioned. From the constitutive-outside, we have learned that there is a mutual influence on each other on a mental stage. I already mentioned the social capital that is decreasing due to this trend. I honestly worry about this matter, this alienation of the world. How would the world look like when I am raising my children? For example, will they know physical/social interaction in a bar? A task for planning practitioners is to bring back cohesion between people who are living in cities, focus on collaborative planning maybe? Enhance social capital and make clear that we need each other. A slogan, which crosses my mind: “A good neighbor is worth more than a friend on distance”. Through a holistic approach, seek for a win-win situation that no one deprived. By exposing different motivations, we perhaps can restructure the social capital in certain communities/cities. Therefor the most important matter in my opinion is; search for underlying reasons in comparison with context…

Atkinson, R. & Flint, J. (2004). ‘Fortress UK? Gated communities, the spatial revolt of the elites and time-space trajectories of segregation’. Housing Studies, 19, pp. 875-892.

Banerjee, S.G. & Munger, M. (2004). ‘Move to markets? An emperical analysis of privatization in developing countries.’ Journal of International Development, 16, pp. 213-240.

Blandy, S. & Parsons, D. (2003). ‘Gated communities in England : rules and rhetoric of urban planning’. Swiss journal of geography, 58, pp. 314-324.

Davis, M. (1990) “Fortress L.A.” In LeGates, R. & Stout, F. (2011). The City Reader, 5th edition. Urban Reader Series (pp. 195-207). London & New York: Routledge.

Flyvbjerg, B. (2001) Making Social Science Matter: Why social inquiry fails and how it can succeed again. 14th edition. Cambridge: University Press.

Glasze, G., Webster, C. & Frantz, K. (2006). ‘Private Cities: Global and local perspectives.’ New York: Routledge.

Lewicka, M. (2010). ‘Place attachment: How far have we come in the last 40 years?’ Journal of Environmental Psychology, 31, pp. 207-230.

Lohof, S. & Reijndorp, A. (2006). ‘Privé terrein: Privaat beheerde woondomeinen in Nederland.’ Rotterdam: NAi Uitgevers

Low, S. (2001). ‘The edge and the center: Gated communities and the discourse of urban fear’. American Anthropologist, 103, pp. 45-58.

Nabielek, K. & Schluchter, S. (2009). ‘Afgeschermde woondomeinen in Nederland’. Rooilijn, 42:5, pp. 314-321.

Natter, W. & Jones III, J. P. (1997). Identity, space and other uncertainties. In G. Benko & U. Strohmayer (Eds), Space and social theory: Interpreting modernity and postmodernity (pp. 141/161). Oxford: Blackwell.

Scannell, L. & Gifford R. (2009). ‘Defining place attachment: A tripartite organizing framework.’ Journal of Environmental Psychology, 30, pp. 1-10.

Vesselinow, E, & Cazessus, M. (2007). ‘Gated communities and spatial inequality’. Journal of Urban Affairs, 29(2), pp. 109-127.


‘Creativity and economic growth’

In which way does Richard Florida’s creativity theory contribute to economic growth and deviate from the humancapital theory?

In this essay I will discuss the different arguments in which way Richard Florida’s creativity theory contribute to economic growth. A reference is also made to the Human Capital Theory and in which way it differs from Florida’s theory. Also, the downsides of stimulating creative growth are mentioned. I conclude that in theory creativity is not very different from human capital. Nevertheless Florida’s creative class is a better standard to measure actual skills and human capital based indicators.


”The city, the people”

Creativity and economic growth has become a key feature of the urban politics. Richard Florida (2002a) propounded this in his book The Rise of the Creative Class, what he claims to be a new theory on regional economic growth. His creative class is creative and innovative and, as a result of this, remarkable for its high productivity. Yet the idea of an economy based fundamentally on skills and services containing creativity has become a popular discourse whether it is generating economic growth or not. Where Florida’s initial analysis highlighted the coming wave of opportunities for all cities based on a prescriptive list of ingredients and actions, his more recent work (2002a) emphasizes the flight of creativity and, by implication, capital and economic security. In short, we are exposed to an environment in which cities compete for a globally footloose class of creative types. It is in this context that the current city council now faces a clear challenge: how to attain a desirable position on a hierarchy of place by producing the quality of environment that will attract talent and subsequent economic success (Atkinson, 2007).

Creative city ideas
Creative city ideas can be understood in the context of two major economic shifts. One is the recognition of “the growing importance of creative economy” in comparison with other economic sectors. While the major focus on cities during the industrial age was to attract capital into their constituencies, with the move towards the information and conceptual age, the focus has turned towards attracting particular types of people with particular skills and capabilities (Atkinson, 2007).

Creativity is present in today’s society everywhere. According to Florida (2002a) those are particularly important who through various standard techniques can create completely new solutions within their own territory. This greatly contributes to the economic value of a city. This kind of creativity, and so the people associated with it, is what he calls the creative class: “The creative class consists the people who add economic value through their creativity”. (Florida 2002a, p. 68)

Creative class
So Florida introduced the concept of ‘creative class’, which he sees as a motor and driver of the current urban service economy. Where the creative class lives, companies settle (jobs follow people), many new businesses starts and will consequently employment increasing (Van Aalst et al., 2006). The basic principle of creative class includes people who have creativity and innovative ideas, the most important input in their work, regardless of the sector in which they operate. This is contrary to the prevailing notion that innovation especially in a limited number of sectors occurs. The economic strength of the creative city is according to Florida also not driven by sectorial specialization (e.g. Zuidas Amsterdam), but by the diversity of the creative workforce. A second important difference is, in principle, the creative class is not emphasis on education. This would entail the extraordinary contribution of cultural and creative entrepreneurs in the economy are overlooked (Van Aalst et al., 2006). Therefore Florida uses as delineation for the definition of the creative class peoples occupation. According to him, what people really do stresses above the education they have followed (Florida, 2005, p. 32).

But where is that local economic strength of the creative class then? According to Florida, the creative class is characterized by a Calvinist work ethic, which means people in principal work hard, but also has a hedonistic lifestyle. This lifestyle is committed to specific urban features and amenities (Van Aalst et al., 2006). According to Florida: “The creative class consists three groups: the ‘super creative core’, the ‘bohemians’ en the ‘creative professionals’” (figure 1). (Florida, 2002a, p. 68-69).

Creativity Index
According to Florida (2002b) some cities can get a leading position in the world economy if they score well on the so-called three T’s: Talent, Technology and Tolerance. These three T’s, according to Florida, determines the economic success of cities and form the so-called creativity index (figure 2).

For Talent he uses the variable education. This is the city seen as a magnet for multifaceted talent. Concentration of innovation and technology in an urban area is according to him an indicator for Technology. Tolerance represents openness to newcomers, races and lifestyles. A creative city has namely a constant stream of newcomers, which provides the city of fresh and creative blood. Tolerance is the so-called birthplace of the creative city (Florida, 2002b).

Spatial effects
The spatial scale, at which all this takes place, is an essential point in the theory of Florida. Growth effects of the creative class do not occur at the regional and national levels. Florida even goes so far to say that “… places have replaced companies as the key organizing units in our economy” (Florida, 2002a, p. 30). In addition, in his reasoning a local culture is also an attractive force on people from the creative class. Which attracts companies, with economic growth as result. According to Florida people are guided by the qualities of the place in a broad sense, such a wide and varied cultural offer (Van Aalst et al., 2006). According to him, these are emphatically not the regions with much social capital. Here he takes a stand against the prevailing ideas of economist Edward Glaeser and others social scientist.

The ideas of Florida are not in itself creative. In fact, he combines existing knowledge about the importance of the various externalities of urban geographer Jane Jacobs (1969) with the endogenous growth theory from economists such as Romer (1986) and Lucas (1988). However, Florida theory does not focus on education.

Human Capital Theory
Recently social scientists emphasized the crucial role of human capital in regional economic growth. Human capital results from people, especially skilled and educated people. Wherever skilled people concentrate, human capital accumulates. Skilled and highly educated people have an ability to generate and to absorb knowledge; for this reason, they are more productive. Therefore, firms are more competitive if they are located in cities with a high level of human capital. These cities grow faster than cities with a low level of human capital (Marlet & Woerkens, 2004).

The human capital theory is essentially about the creation and use of knowledge by the skilled and highly educated population. What can creativity possibly add to that? First of all, people in the creative class are not necessarily highly educated. According to Florida (2002a), the key to understand regional economic growth is, as mentioned before, not a high level of education but creativity. Parts of Florida’s creative population are indeed not highly educated; however, most of them are. That leads us to the question what the economic relevance of their creativity is, compared to the relevance of their skills and education? (Marlet & Woerkens, 2004). Florida mentions the way of life of these people: their creative ethos. The question is whether this anything new? Is this totally different from Jane Jacobs’s (1969) view that highly educated people tend to accumulate knowledge? It is Edward Glaeser (2004) who in a recent review of Florida’s book questions the novelty of Florida’s concept of creativity: “If Florida wants to argue there is an effect of bohemian, creative types, over and above the effect of human capital, then presumably that should show up in the data” (Glaeser 2004, p. 3). However, it does not, according to the growth regressions introduced by Glaeser in his review.

In his response to Glaeser’s critical review, Florida suggests he never aimed to substitute his Creative Capital theory for the Human Capital theory. His concept of a creative class was only meant to provide an improved standard for measuring actual skills and human capital based indicators (Marlet & Woerkens, 2004).

The consequences of creative class
Writers like Florida have been strongly critiqued for producing accounts of development that stress the kind of artistic mode of neighbourhood development (Zukin, 1995). In this final section some of the problems and consequences of the pursuit of creative city strategies on existing communities are emphasized. These are the risks and downsides of stimulating creative growth.

Gentrification and household dislocation (Marlet & Woerkens, 2004).
Differentiating between housing market impacts derived from a specific drive for creative professionals and economic forces operating through the housing market is difficult. Gentrification has become a concern in all of the cities. Beyond the problem of gentrification itself is the issue of a lack of affordable housing. This has occurred for a range of reasons, primarily demographic, and the extent to which local governments have been directly involved in this process is less clear.

Therefore, you can end up with a city that has got a lot of creativity, but there may be a further sub-set of people who are more excluded within that city due to the fact they can no longer afford to live there. In other words, the presence of creative communities is not the only determinant of gentrification, but it is usually part of a broader process of gentrification.

New economics and segregation (Marlet & Woerkens, 2004).
A second strand in the linkages between the emphasis on creativity and the consequences appeared in what have made the city less liveable or intolerable for certain social groups. This has emerged as the result of two factors.  The first one is the drive to create clean and safe spaces to encourage social and economic investment. The second one is the emergence of new communities in cities who are themselves less tolerant of some of these social problems. As a result of these forces a climate has been created in which social differences and more marginal social groups have been policed, designed and otherwise priced-out of central city areas.

A new paradigm?
Place, Florida discovered, figures strongly with the members of the creative class. Place has become an important consideration in light of our increasingly globalized world. In social science, for example, place is no longer regarded simply as a setting where economic and geo-political power is exercised; nor is it regarded simply as a background of and for culture and identity, the place where people mindlessly reproduce “their culture” and root their sense of self. Place is instead viewed in a much more dynamic way as scholars deal with the multiple places people inhabit and the multiple cultures and identities that exist in a particular locale (Aig+c, 2010).

For Florida, the buzz of a place generates represents and helps define its level of creativity and, by extension, its prospects for economic development. He concludes creatives are attracted to places that give them the chance to exercise their creativity in multiple ways with multiple firms. Some claim the most interesting and ultimately suggestive aspect of his work is found between the lines of his discussion of creativity, place and the spectre of postmodernist or late capitalism. They claim Florida both accept and reject postmodernism: accepting the part that rationalizes his view of creativity, but rejecting the part that undoes his own authority as a public intellectual and planning guru (Aig+c, 2010). As mentioned in this essay Florida has named the Creative class as motor and driver of the current urban service economy, with spatial effects.

What might be a more interesting discussion is whether his Creative Class is a paradigm-shift or not. It was Thomas Kuhn who introduced paradigm. He gave it its contemporary meaning, in his book The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, when he adopted the word the refer to the set of practices that define a scientific discipline at any particular period of time. He defined it as universally recognized scientific achievements that, for a time, provide model problems and solutions for a community of practitioners. His phenomenological evolutionary scheme for the natural sciences contains long periods with stable normal science; that is, periods with a generally accepted mode of conducting research. The researcher’s work in such periods consists according to Kuhn within the framework of a paradigm. After a time, change leads to a new paradigm, to cumulative replacement in which the old paradigm become superfluous. From now on the anomalies start undermine the original paradigm. The result is a new paradigm around which there is again general agreement and on the basis of which normal-science research can again be conducted (Flyvbjerg, 2001).

Ethical critique
Some are convinced that Florida’s Creative City is indeed a new paradigm. For example Melanie Fasche, who lives in Berlin and has studied the city extensively: “Berlin is in fact a very good example that the paradigm of the Creative City works. Here art and culture have been evolving organically,” she says. “In terms of economic development, Berlin is no longer only the hope for individual freedom but increasingly also the hope for individual prosperity” (The Atlantic cities, 2012).

But you might ask yourself whether this happened due to the concept of Florida’s Creative City or because something else. It is striking if you look at Florida’s own analysis. The kind of places he names are actually historically or spontaneous creative. Amsterdam and San Francisco were for example creative places for decades, if not centuries in the case of Amsterdam. And in many ways his model is a distillation of some of the key elements of those cities. Some of the common sensical positive features of these cities. Florida re-described them and presented them to other cities as a model to emulate. So you might say what Florida is doing is repackaging what already exists and present it back to places (Tino Buchholz, 2012).  It is for this reason there is doubt whether Florida’s theory is a new paradigm or not.  Potts and Cunnigham (2008, p. 7) stated:

“The creative industries, in this view, are just another member of the industrial community, and they should rightfully then demand neither more nor less ‘assistance’ than that due to others. Recognition of normal existence is sufficient and ‘significance’ is immaterial’.

According to Florida human creativity is the engine for economic growth in the 21st century and the city is the place where it all happens. Florida suggested there is a new, economic growth enhancing mechanism in agglomerating people in cities. It is not only knowledge accumulation that matters, but also creativity and a bohemian lifestyle. However, different social scientist criticized Florida and asked themselves what the economic relevance is of their creativity as compared to the relevance of their skills and education. And it is questionable whether it deviated from the Jane Jacobs externalities. However, according to Florida his concept of a creative class was only meant to providence an improved standard for measuring actual skills and human capital-based indicators.

And as ethical critique you can add to the questionable part above, what Florida’s philosophical add is. Therefore if you look at his analysis, he uses cities that are actually historically or spontaneous creative for many years itself. What he basically did is re-describing the key elements or these cities and presenting them to other cities as a model to emulate. For this reason it is questionable whether Florida’s Creative City is a new paradigm. Some confirm it, other believe it is just the old fashion way and part of a bigger whole.

Concluded it can be said that Florida’s major contribution is his successful attempt to create a population category that is a better indicator for levels of human capital than average education levels or amounts of highly educated people. The point is, as Florida stated, not which or how much education people can boast of, but what they really establish in working life. But it is questionable whether Florida did something new or just rebranded something in a philosophical way. You can doubt whether he contributed to a new paradigm or not. I conclude that not only a highly productive labour force but also the right atmosphere to start up new businesses emerge in places with a high level of skilled and creative population, which results in economic growth. Though, it is questionable whether this has any correlation with bohemianism or creative ethos, other than social interaction as meant in the Human Capital theory. And at last, Florida probably contributed to a new paradigm, but if his Creative Class was decisive, I do not think so.

Peer-review feedback
All three reviewers liked my essay topic. They understood the link between creativity and economic growth, and why they do not complement each other. However, the main points to improve were the syntax and the references. This was mainly caused do to the fact it was for me a real draft version. In the final version I paid attention to these remarks and I think it worked out well. With the feedback I was able to take a more theoretical position. The author would like to thank Tessa Haarler, Wolbert van der Haar and Hindrik de Haan for their time and effort they put into supplying this essay of relevant feedback.

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