Museums, Prejudice and the Reframing of Difference

Museums Prejudice and the Reframing of Difference Museums and the Combating of Prejudice addresses an increasingly significant issue for museums internationally but one which has to date received very little theoretical or empirical investigation I

  • Title: Museums, Prejudice and the Reframing of Difference
  • Author: Richard Sandell
  • ISBN: 9780203020036
  • Page: 351
  • Format: ebook
  • Museums and the Combating of Prejudice addresses an increasingly significant issue for museums internationally but one which has, to date, received very little theoretical or empirical investigation In recent years there has been a growing interest, within the academy, and amongst cultural policy makers and practitioners, in the social role, impact and responsibility of Museums and the Combating of Prejudice addresses an increasingly significant issue for museums internationally but one which has, to date, received very little theoretical or empirical investigation In recent years there has been a growing interest, within the academy, and amongst cultural policy makers and practitioners, in the social role, impact and responsibility of museums It is possible to detect a growing confidence amongst practitioners, internationally, in articulating goals which position museums as agents of positive social change The volume is not focused on a singular, specific type of prejudice but is concerned rather broadly with the ways in which the other is constituted and perceived resulting in wide ranging forms of prejudice on the basis of, for example, sexual orientation, race, gender, disability, religious faith and so on Though there is considerable rhetoric surrounding the museum s role in this area there is both a paucity of empirical evidence and a lack of theoretical interrogation with which to inform and substantiate these assertions Museums and the Combating of Prejudice, uniquely, blends leading edge theory with in depth empirical research to investigate the processes through which museums inform audiences values and attitudes and, alongside other media, contribute towards broader social change Interest in the social role of museums and their potential to combat prejudice extends to many parts of the world Alongside a small but growing number of specialist museums whose primary purpose and rationale is built around the combating of prejudice, museums of all kinds are increasingly concerned to represent variously constitutedforms of cultural difference through their collections and displays The book reflects this by drawing upon a wide range of international examples including those in the US e.g initiatives at the Smithsonian Museums, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Lower East Side Tenement Museum, Museum of Tolerance , Canada e.g the proposed Canadian Museum for Human Rights , South Africa e.g Constitution Hill and the Apartheid Museum , Australia Migration Museum, National Museum of Australia In addition, the book draws on empirical data generated from interviews with museum audiences and staff at the Anne Frank House Amsterdam, Holland and St Mungo s Museum of Religious Life and Art Glasgow, Scotland Museums and the Combating of Prejudice brings together contemporary theoretical developments in sociological, media and audience studies, combined with in depth field research from a number of different research projects , to explore the ways in which museums might achieve their goals of combating prejudice It focuses, in particular, on the ways in which audiences read, engage with, and construct meaning from museum exhibitions and displays that purposefully seek to combat prejudice but also considers the curatorial implications arising from the museum s engagement with these issues Museums and the Combating of Prejudice addresses issues of critical importance for those working in and thinking about museums and make a unique contribution to live debates within sociology, media and audience studies.

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