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Published on May 25, 2015
Department of Sociology, The Higher Seminar Public Lecture Series, 14:15-16:00, March 11, 2015
First and Second Generation Collaborative Circles in Cultural Movements: The Case of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood and William Morris's "Firm"
Michael P. Farrell (Department of Sociology, University of Buffalo, The State University of New York
Small collaborative friendship groups, such as the French impressionists or the Olympia Academy circle of Albert Einstein, are often the context in which creative men and women develop their visions and hone their skills for doing creative work. Recent work has contributed to our understanding of how such groups develop and how interaction in them contributes to creativity. However, there is still much to learn about how variations in their structures and dynamics contribute to or inhibit creative work.
In this presentation I examine differences between first and second-generation collaborative circles. A first-generation collaborative circle is a primary group that rebels against conventions in a field and introduces a revolutionary vision for doing creative work. A second-generation circle consists of at least one mentor from a first generation circle and his or her protégées. To illustrate the differences, the focus will be on two generations of the Pre-Raphaelite movement of artists, writers, and craftsmen and women.