Museums, society, inequality / edited by Richard Sandell

Sandell, Richard [ed.].
ISBN: 0415260604 (pbk.).Edition: 1st ed.Publisher: London [etc.] : Routledge, 2002Description: xx, 268 p.Series: Museum meanings: Summary: Museums, Society, Inequality explores the wide-ranging social roles and responsibilities of the museum. It brings together diverse international perspectives (including those from Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Kenya, Greece, the USA and the UK) which collectively seek to stimulate critical debate, to inform the work of practitioners and policy makers, and to advance recognition of the agency of museums: their purposes, responsibilities and value to society. The notion that the cultural and the social are inextricably linked and more particularly, that museums have the potential to act as agents of social change is neither new nor radical. However, debates claiming the museum's social agency, that have for many years been marginalised, have moved centre stage, and fundamental questions about the museum's social purpose and responsibility, and in particular its potential to impact on both the indicators and the causes of social inequality, are subject to increasing scrutiny and debate. This challenging new work is divided into three parts. The first offers different understandings of the social agency of the museum. Each contributor presents recent thinking on the impact, both positive and negative, that museums have on society and the lives of specific individuals and communities. The second section examines ways in which museums have sought to engage with contemporary social concerns, to tackle specific manifestations of inequality and to act, in partnership with other agencies and with communities, in order to instigate social change. The final section begins to imagine the character of inclusive museums and the processes that might be employed to enable them to become more relevant, effective and useful to society in the future. Though the authors hold wide-ranging perspectives on the museum's social role, they all acknowledge that museums both influence Society and must also respond to its changing characteristics and concerns. This crucial new work is essential for all museum academics, practitioners and students. (Font: Editor)
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Museums, Society, Inequality explores the wide-ranging social roles and responsibilities of the museum. It brings together diverse international perspectives (including those from Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Kenya, Greece, the USA and the UK) which collectively seek to stimulate critical debate, to inform the work of practitioners and policy makers, and to advance recognition of the agency of museums: their purposes, responsibilities and value to society.
The notion that the cultural and the social are inextricably linked and more particularly, that museums have the potential to act as agents of social change is neither new nor radical. However, debates claiming the museum's social agency, that have for many years been marginalised, have moved centre stage, and fundamental questions about the museum's social purpose and responsibility, and in particular its potential to impact on both the indicators and the causes of social inequality, are subject to increasing scrutiny and debate.
This challenging new work is divided into three parts. The first offers different understandings of the social agency of the museum. Each contributor presents recent thinking on the impact, both positive and negative, that museums have on society and the lives of specific individuals and communities. The second section examines ways in which museums have sought to engage with contemporary social concerns, to tackle specific manifestations of inequality and to act, in partnership with other agencies and with communities, in order to instigate social change. The final section begins to imagine the character of inclusive museums and the processes that might be employed to enable them to become more relevant, effective and useful to society in the future.
Though the authors hold wide-ranging perspectives on the museum's social role, they all acknowledge that museums both influence Society and must also respond to its changing characteristics and concerns. This crucial new work is essential for all museum academics, practitioners and students. (Font: Editor)

List of illustrations -- Notes on contributors -- Preface -- Acknowledgements -- Part I. Museums and society: issues ans perspectives: 1. Museums and the combating of social inequality : roles, responsibilities, resistance / Richard Sandell ; 2. The good enough visitor / Mark O'Neill ; 3 Measuring social value / Carol Scott ; 4. Architectures of inclusion : museums, galleries and inclusive communities / Andrew Newman and Fiona McLean ; 5. The therapeutic potential of museums as pathways to inclusion / Lois H. Silverman ; 6. Buried in the footnotes : the absence of disabled people in the collective imagery of our past / Annie Delin ; 7. Representing lesbians and gay men in British social history museums / Angela Vanegas ; 8.Remembering ourselves in the work of museums : trauma and the place of the personal in the public / Gaynor Kavanagh -- Part II. strategies for inclusion: 9. Harnessing the power of history / Ruth J. Abram ; 10. Representing diversity and challenging racism : the Migration Museum / Viv Szekeres ; 11. Developing a community of practice : museums and reconciliation in Australia / Lynda Kelly and Phil Gordon ; 12. The National Musuems of Kenya and social responsibility : working with street children / Fredrik Karanja Mirara ; 13. Museums and the health of the community / Jocelyn Dodd ; 14. Children's museums in hospitals / Despina Kalessopoulou -- Part. 3. Towards the inclusive museum: 15. Rethinking heritage : cultural policy and inclusion / Lola Young ; 16. Positioning the museum for social inclusion / David Fleming ; 17. Māori and museums : the politics of indigenous recognition / David Butts ; 18. Inclusion and the power of representation : South African museums and the cultural politics of social transformation / Khwezi ka Mpumlwana, Gerard COrsane, Juanita Pastor-Makhurane, Ciraj Rassol -- Index

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