Download PDF by Richard Sandell: Museums, Prejudice and the Reframing of Difference

By Richard Sandell

ISBN-10: 0203020030

ISBN-13: 9780203020036

ISBN-10: 0415367484

ISBN-13: 9780415367486

How, if all of it, do museums form the ways that society is familiar with distinction? In contemporary a long time there was growing to be overseas curiosity among practitioners, lecturers and coverage makers within the position that museums could play in confronting prejudice and selling human rights and cross-cultural figuring out. Museums in lots of components of the area are more and more involved to build exhibitions which characterize, in additional equitable methods, the culturally pluralist societies during which they function, accommodating and interesting with alterations at the foundation of gender, race, ethnicity, classification, faith, incapacity, sexuality etc. regardless of the ubiquity of those tendencies, there's however restricted figuring out of the social results, and attendant political results, of those purposive representational innovations. Richard Sandell combines interdisciplinary theoretical views with in-depth empirical research to deal with a couple of well timed questions. How do audiences have interaction with and reply to exhibitions designed to contest, subvert and reconfigure prejudiced conceptions of social teams? To what quantity can museums be understood to form, now not easily mirror, normative understandings of distinction, acceptability and tolerance? What are the demanding situations for museums which try and have interaction audiences in debating morally charged and contested modern social matters and the way may possibly those be addressed? Sandell argues that museums body, tell and let the conversations which audiences and society extra commonly have approximately distinction and highlights the ethical and political demanding situations, possibilities and duties which accompany those constitutive traits.

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This chapter 23 MUSEUMS, PREJUDICE AND THE REFRAMING OF DIFFERENCE further argues for an understanding of prejudice which acknowledges its highly politicised and contextualised nature. Museums, I argue, are sites in which individuals can make, articulate and practise accounts of society that can be prejudiced, non-prejudiced or contradictory. This approach requires an analysis of language, both that of the museum and that of the visitor, to examine how it is used in constitutive ways. In chapter 3 I consider, in greater detail, the missions, aims and contexts of the St Mungo Museum of Religious Life and Art and the Anne Frank House.

Many visitors explicitly declared their support for concepts they identified in the museum’s displays, such as ‘equality’, ‘tolerance’ and ‘the importance of learning from the past’. In both their interview responses and in the written comments in visitors’ books and comments cards, many seemed eager to condemn discrimination, to ‘perform’ their own tolerance. The four examples below were taken from visitors’ written comments: What a very interesting exhibition excellently displayed with just enough information for an introduction.

Moreover, ‘combating prejudice’ implies a purposeful, explicit and political goal – one that suggests the active removal of something that is socially undesirable. Related terms such as ‘tolerance’, ‘inclusion’ and ‘recognition’, though widely used in the museum sector, are rather less satisfactory for this project, a point I shall return to in chapter 2. The primary research undertaken for this book addresses three main areas. The first is concerned with the intentions, aims and strategies of museums that articulate goals around the combating of prejudice and is investigated through interviews with staff at two case studies and through analysis of museum documents (policies, reports, websites and publicity material).

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Museums, Prejudice and the Reframing of Difference by Richard Sandell

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