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Museums Audiences

Museums Audiences






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    Museums Audiences Museums Audiences Presentation Transcript

    • Museums and audiences
    • Thinking points
      • How do visitors perceive museums and their displays?
      • How do we conceptualise the ‘visitor’ to museums?
      • What is the relationship of the visitor to the space visited?
      • What is the relationship of the visitor to the displays organised by the museum?
      • How do we study the visitor to museums?
    • Analysing Media
      • The accepted way to analyse any media product is to consider:
        • Production
        • Text
        • Audience processes
    • Analysing Media
      • So, for example, a TV programme can be analysed
        • Production – institutional, social and political contexts
        • Text – structures and strategies can be analysed using structuralist, post-structuralist, content analysis etc. methods
        • Audience processes – the ways the audience decodes the message, factors such as class, gender, age, ethnicitiy of the audience
    • Analysing Media
      • And in the same way museums can be analysed
        • Production – institutional, social and political contexts in which museums exist or which exist in museums
        • Text – structures and strategies of display can be analysed as text
        • Audience processes – the ways the audience decodes the message, factors such as class, gender, age, ethnicitiy of the audience – still relatively underexplored
    • Audiences
      • Abercrombie & Longhurst (1998)
        • Traditional paradigms of understanding audiences
          • Behavioural paradigm sees audiences as individuals who either affected by the media or who are seen to use the media in ways for their own gratification. Problems …
          • Incorporation/resistance paradigm looks at the operation of power in society especially in relation to the workings of class, gender, ethnicity and age. It looks to answer the question: to what extent do audiences resist or are incorporated by media texts? Problems …
    • Audiences
      • Abercrombie & Longhurst (1998)
        • New paradigm suggested – spectacle/performance paradigm (SPP)
        • Agues that 3 different types of audience have been created and which co-exist -
          • Simple – theatre audience, football match crowd
          • Mass – mediated forms of communication eg. TV
          • Diffused – contemporary weddings
    • Diffused audience
      • Diffused audience
        • The essential feature of this audience experience is that, in a contemporary society everyone becomes an audience all the time. Being a member of an audience is no longer an exceptional event, nor even an everyday event. Rather it is constitutive of everyday life. This is not a claim that simple audiences or mass audiences no longer exist, quite the contrary. These experiences are as common as ever, but they take place against the background of the diffused audience. (Abercormbie and Longhurst 1998: 68-69)
    • Diffused audience
      • The diffused audience
        • Is a result of
          • Increasing spectacularisation of the contemporary world
          • The ways that individuals are constituted as narcissistic
        • Social/physical distance between audience/performer is eroded making the communication between both ‘fused’. Such audiences are both local and global – locally enacted but drawing on global processes.
    • Diffused audience
      • The diffused audience
        • Must also be seen in its relationship with mass and simple audience.
        • This can be achieved through the spectacle/performance paradigm because:
        • It can pay attention to how audiences are socially constructed and reconstructed through the twin processes of everyday spectacle and narcissism.
        • It can consider the media as a ‘mediascape’ (Appadurai) rather than media messages or texts per se . Therefore, the study of ‘texts’ is placed in a different framework. The study of audiences is placed in the processes of everyday interaction and identity formation and reformation.
    • Audience ‘positions’
      • A number of potential positions the audience could occupy:
        • Consumer
        • fan
        • cultist
        • petty-producer
    • Research methods
      • Abercrombie and Longhurst argue for research which:
        • Starts from the everyday, the local and sees the relationship of local with global as concrete.
        • Looks at the role of identity formation and reformation in everyday life.
        • Considers the role of the media in the generation and reconstitution of social trust.
    • Research methods
      • How would research on museum audiences look if it followed the paradigm suggested by Abercrombie and Longhurst?
        • What kind of audience are museum visitors?
        • How does that type relate to the other types?
        • What kind of performance does the museum ask of the visitor?
        • What kind of identity work is being performed?
    • Readings
      • Bourdeau, L. and J.-C. Chebat (2001). "An empirical study of the effects of the design of the display galleries of an art gallery on the movement of visitors." Museum Management and Curatorship 19 (1): 63-73.
      • Davallon, J., H. Gottesdiener, et al. (2000). "The 'expert visitor' concept." Museum Int 52 (4): 60-64.
      • Edson, G. (2001). "'Socioexhibitry' as popular communication." Museum Int 53 (3): 40-44.
      • Fernandez, G. and M. Benlloch (2000). "Interactive exhibits: how visitors respond." Museum Int 52 (4): 53-59.
      • Macdonald, S. (1992). "Cultural imagining among museum visitors: A case study." Museum Management and Curatorship 11 (4): 401-409.
      • Abercrombie, N. and B. Longhurst (1998). Audiences . London, Sage.