A qualitative case study of the impact of socio-cultural factors on prominent Turkish writers
Gunersel, Adalet Baris
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This study investigates socio-cultural factors that impact the lives of highly creative writers, specifically, novelists in a specific socio-cultural context, Turkey. Research objectives included the investigation of the definition of creativity, creative processes and products by highly creative Turkish writers, and socio-cultural factors that influenced the development of their creativity. The qualitative case study was used and interviews with four participants, or cases, shed light onto the focus of the study. Four novelists who fit certain criteria were selected: (a) they have invented, designed, and produced creative work regularly and their work has influenced Turkish literature; (b) they were Turkish citizens who have lived 75% of their lives in Turkey and received their education in Turkey; and (c) they varied in age and gender. The participants were Ya?ar Kemal (85, male), Adalet A?ao?lu (81, female), Mario Levi (51, male), and Latife Tekin (51, female). Interviews with the participants were transcribed, translated from Turkish into English, and analyzed. The constant comparative method (Glaser & Strauss, 1967; Lincoln & Guba, 1985) was used as the method of analysis. Other documents about the participants were also used as data sources. Results indicate that participants? views of creativity resemble both Western and non-Western views of creativity and their views of creative processes and products are similar to former research findings on creative individuals and creativity in general. Overarching themes include (a) environmental catalysts that prompted creativity; (b) emotional and professional support networks in participants? lives; and (c) participants? self-efficacy. Although environmental catalysts include events that cause both positive and negative emotions, two of the participants emphasize the role of negative feelings, such as anger and sadness, in the stimulation of creativity. The participants have had various sources of support from either certain individuals, such as a teacher or a friend, or groups of individuals, such as their readers. Participants? self-efficacy emerges from various personality traits such as determination, persistence, rebelliousness, outspokenness, and independence. Findings indicate that education is an important socio-cultural factor that can enhance or hinder creativity and that teachers have a crucial role in the development of their students.