Handbook of Arts-Based Research: Creativity and Imagination: Research as World Making!

Book Chapter:  Creativity and Imagination: Research as World Making!

The book – Handbook of Arts-Based Research brings together interdisciplinary leaders in methodology and arts-based research (ABR), exploring synergies between art, creativity and research practices.
My chapter addresses creativity and imagination in the research context. The classical approaches on research usually  gives two oppositional options: qualitative X quantitative or academic X applied research. Generally, quantitative approaches are associated with the hard sciences where measurement, replication, prediction and control are valued. Qualitative approaches, on the other hand, are often identified as soft science due to the focus on subjective aspects, meaning making and words rather than measurement and numbers. While I do not agree with the research opposition described above, I still experience such division, especially in the educational setting, among colleagues and students.
How to move away from such a dichotomised view of research?
In this chapter I talk about research as a creative and imaginative endeavour. This approach is grounded in an epistemology that embraces research as a social practice, a practice of inquiry, a collective action. This is dramatically different from viewing research as a representation of reality that requires a neutral, objective and controlling stance. Creativity and imagination in research is about evoking meanings to form a better future, to provoke change rather than representing reality.

“Handbook of Arts-Based Research”, Patricia Leavy (editor).
Guilford Press. New York
ISBN 9781462521951
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