Unmasking Complexity in the Study of Motivation: Ethnographic Insights from a Textile Artist




Caran, Karolina

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title



The dissertation holistically examines motivation from an experiential perspective. Using the lens of creativity and ethnography, it offers a case study of the motivational characteristics of a textile artist at various periods of her life (as a child, a high school/college student, and an adult) and in various contexts (cultural and social). The study describes the influences of culture, society, and experiences that motivate the textile artist. The analysis of stories that shape the artist’s life reveals the inseparability of the development of her motivation from the specific circumstances in which it occurs. The study illustrates that in order to understand the complexity of motivation, it is important to examine it as it occurs in a specific context. The study also shows the significance of examining motivation as being something multidirectional and holistic in nature. The findings suggest that these three elements characterizing motivation—that is, its dependence on context as well as its holistic and multidirectional nature—should be considered by educators who wish to motivate their students, and by researchers who examine motivation. It is also suggested that more case studies of similar design be conducted in order to determine which characteristics of motivation are unique to an individual person and which can be generalized. This knowledge would enhance our understanding of motivation as it occurs in the lives of individuals and in society.



Motivation, Case Study, Textile Arts, Carl Rogers, Humanism, Spellbinding Experience