Unformatted text preview: Florida’s Creative Class Richard Florida is an American author and sociological theorist who was born in Newark, New Jersey in 1957. Florida is most known for his study of the creative class. This is a social class that he developed after receiving his B.A. from Rutgers College, and his Ph.D. from Columbia University. Florida established himself as a respected journalist, working for companies such as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Boston Globe, The Washington Post, and the Economist. His goal as a speaker, writer, and thinker is to make America aware of the rise of the Creative Class. If the American public can embrace the creative class Florida believes that our economy can improve. Although highly decorated as a writer, Florida has come under criticism for his negligence of the underrepresented groups in his studies and statistics. I believe that I am a member of the creative class, and I agree with most of Florida’s work. I think that members of the creative class are the most valuable people to our economy, and are what will help America fight this economic crisis. Richard Florida defines the Creative Class in his article in the Washing Monthly as, “a fast- growing, highly educated, and well- paid segment of the workforce on whose efforts corporate profits and economic growth increasingly depend.” Florida goes on to mention that people in creative class can take on a wide variety of jobs, “from technology to entertainment, journalism to finance, high- end manufacturing to the arts.” Florida then explains that these members of the creative class do not consciously group themselves in this class. Instead, members of the creative class are born with the morals, values, and merit that makes up what the creative class actually is. Florida believes that this is the future of America and the cities that embrace this will prosper. The creative class is made up of all different types of people. Most creative class workers are young, having just graduated college, ready to work in the field of their choice. This is one of the main points of the Creative Class. The workers in this class choose what work field they want to enter. First, Creative Class members attain the knowledge they need to through schooling. Most Creative Class workers have degrees from Colleges and Universities across the country. After these members of the Creative Class choose a field in which they will work in, then they choose where they want to work. The freedom to choose is a valuable asset to the Creative Class. Members of this class feel that it is vital to work in safe, comfortable working environments. This allows the workers to use
their knowledge and creativity to work efficiently and effectively. One of the most talked about changes in the Creative Class work environment is dress code. The days of wearing a suit and tie to work are over. Creative class members prefer to wear business casual because it provides a more comfortable work environment. A Creative Class member would say that if you feel comfortable in what you wear, you will be less distracted, and be more focused on the task at hand. Multiple businesses have complied with the wishes of a more relaxed outfit to wear to work. Having a more relaxed dress code is exactly what the Creative Class is all about. It proves that the members of creative class are innovative thinkers and will no longer be confined by the ways of the old. Another trait of the Creative Class is that they enjoy a challenge in the work place. Although it may seem that the Creative Class has a laid back attitude in the work place, one of most important aspects of a job to the creative class is how challenging that job is. People in the Creative Class like to have a specific goal or purpose. Once this goal is set into place, the Creative Class workers use there brain, resources, and creativity to meet that goal. One of the most rewarding things for a member of the creative class is peer recognition. Surprisingly, in the survey conducted my Richard Florida, peer recognition was more important to Creative Class member than monetary incentives. This is valuable in today’s working environment because success is not based on money in the eyes of the creative class. Personal achievement, and finding solutions in your own way, overrules money. Those types of morals and values are what make me think positively for the future. Richard Florida’s work has been highly acclaimed but others have also harshly criticized it. In the article, “Why I don’t Love Richard Florida,” author Karrie Jacobs, tears the Creative Class apart. Jacobs repeatedly calls out Florida on exaggerating his statistics. She claimed, “I read the book, and all the way through I kept trying to understand how 30 percent of workers could be part of this booming creative class.” She went on to explain that as she read the fine print in the back of the book that only twelve percent of the creative class is actually creative. The other eighteen percent was Creative Professionals such as management, business and financial operations, health care, and high- end sales management. She then went on to further criticize this part of the Creative Class by calling the members in it “Yuppies.” She summarizes her argument by finally by saying, “Florida has taken something qualitative and turned it into something quantitative. That’s what social scientists do. It’s their special form of creativity.” By saying this she basically is stating that all of Florida’s number are ambiguous. Karrie Jacobs thinks that Florida’s ideal Creative Community in a city is nearly impossible to achieve. Another critic of Florida’s work is Alec MacGillis, reporter for the American Prospect. MacGillis took a different approach then previously mentioned Jacobs. MacGillis made it a point to subliminally portray a picture of Florida that makes him look like a money hungry, big shot. MacGillis makes an effort in the first paragraph to state Florida’s fee per appearance. He revisits this point at least three times throughout the article. MacGillis talks about how Florida visited Elmira, a local New York town. After visiting Elmira, a couple years later Florida had to retract some his statements about helping Elmira. Florida stated, "At the end of the day, people - - not industries or even places - - should be our biggest concern. We can best help those who are hardest- hit by the crisis, by providing a generous social safety [net], investing in their skills, and when necessary helping them become mobile and move to where the opportunities are." Florida is stating that all the advice in the world can’t save a town unless most of the people buy in. However, MacGillis once again dismisses this notion. He playfully says, “In other words, Elmirans might have to move to Boulder (Colorado) after all.” MacGillis basically is saying according to Florida in order to have a chic, up and coming city, you have to move to more prosperous land. After this, MacGillis goes on to discuss Florida’s yearly salary. He talks about Florida’s overseas endeavors, and his contracts with companies such as Catalyix. Finally MacGillis concluded his article by once again referencing Florida’s appearance fee, and calling one of his advisors a “rock star.” After reading both of these articles as well as most of Florida’s The Rise of Creative Class, I have unique perspective on weather Richard Florida is a fraud or not. Both sides have major holes in their arguments. Florida’s statistics and information makes me skeptical. I would love to know who he interviewed and how many people he interviewed. Also, it does seem odd that Florida made his book into a world tour, where ticket’s to see him speech were priced around one hundred dollars. However, I believe that Florida is just using his creativity and knowledge to better communities. I think that Florida has many valid points. His basic principles make a lot of sense. For example, Florida stresses taking the strengths of individuals in the creative class, and using them to there full potential. This way, people are working at what they are good at. In theory if everyone does what he or she are good at the world would be a better place. However, where does the working class fit in? That is a question many of his critics ask. However, I think that people who are apart of the working class can use their skills productively as well. If we all work together change will come. As for the personal shots taken at Florida, those authors instantly lost credibility. Both authors made comments about his salary, his looks, and his family life. These three aspects have nothing to do with the Creative Class. Although I can see where Florida’s critics come from I can easily relate to his idea of the Creative Class. I believe that the youth in America have the future in their hands. A huge majority of the pressure relies on the Creative Class. However, as the Creative Class, if we follow the teachings of our professors, and work on our strengths, we will be able to make it out of this economic crisis. Works Cited 1.) The Rise of the Creative Class. New York: Basic Books, 2002. Print 2.) Jacobs, Karrie. "Why I Don’t Love Richard Florida." Metropolis Magazine. Web. 03 Mar. 2011. < - i- dont- love- richard- florida>. 3.)"Richard Florida." Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. 1 Feb. 2011. Web. 03 Mar. 2011. < ;. 4.)Florida, Richard. "Creative Class » Blog Archive » Cities, Inequality and Wages – Creative Class." Creative Class® The Source on How We Live, Work and Play. Web. 03 Mar. 2011. < - inequality- and- wages/>. 5.)MacGillis, Alec. "The Ruse of The Creative Class." The American Prospect. N.p., 4 Jan. 2010. < ;. Rpt. in The Ruse of the Creative Class. N.p.: n.p., n.d. N. pag. The America Prospect. Web. 24 Mar. 2011. ...
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