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Museums and Galleries Creating Civil Renewal Andrew Newman International Centre for Culture and Heritage Studies University of Newcastle upon Tyne.

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Presentation on theme: "Museums and Galleries Creating Civil Renewal Andrew Newman International Centre for Culture and Heritage Studies University of Newcastle upon Tyne."— Presentation transcript:

1 Museums and Galleries Creating Civil Renewal Andrew Newman International Centre for Culture and Heritage Studies University of Newcastle upon Tyne

2 Contents Research project Analysis Different models of society Results Benefits to communities/individuals Impact of participation/visiting Conclusion

3 Research project An analysis of policy that used museums and galleries as agents of social inclusion - f unded by ESRC Construction and Implementation of policy Policymakers (27 interviews) Newcastle Discovery Museum Great City Exhibition (GC) 30 interviews Making Histories (MK) 5 participants Glasgow Museums Museum of Transport (MT) 2 focus groups of 6 people Greater Pollok Kist project (GPK) 11 people Small numbers of people in considerable depth Concluded that policy failed because there was little understanding of how museum/galleries functioned within society

4 Analysis Ability of these activities to encourage civil renewal Focus upon socially excluded participants or visitors – how were these people using their experience? Capital Social, human Active citizenship People have citizenship rights Social, Political, Economic, Cultural Socio-psychological factors Identity Role of museum exhibitions and museum based community development projects in identity construction

5 Results Benefits to communities/individuals Opportunities to make investments in capital Community development projects provide a safe friendly environment to develop social capital (bonding) GPK Exhibitions facilitate social capital (bonding) – links mainly to an imagined collective (expressed through an idea of place or group) GC & MT Human capital – although not recognised by respondents was present GPK Giving people the option to invest doesn't mean they will existing low levels of capital makes this problematic

6 Results Benefits to communities/individuals Active Citizenship Social - gave people the opportunity to take part in social life - social capital Economic - gave skills – not translated into jobs Cultural - cost was a problem - travel etc. Political - gave people control GPK participants constructed their own narrative about the history of their area Representational strategies - MH respondents were determining how they would be viewed Creating opportunities for involvement Socio-psychological factors confidence, recognition – without this little else was possible

7 Results Benefits to communities/individuals Identity Contribution of participation/visiting Enabled participants to construct a sense of themselves in response to their experience of exclusion GPK participants were constructing a narrative about the history of their area that ignored the current situation and focused upon an older pastoral Pollok Participants or visitors were using identity construction to understand and manage their place in the world Museums and galleries were providing a unique resource for this process Similar to the ways that brands work Define social exclusion as an inability deal with the social environment in identity terms

8 Conclusion Museums and Galleries contribute to civil renewal by: Facilitating investment in forms of capital Encouraging Active Citizenship Providing the context for people to respond to their environment – in identity terms Research points to underlying mechanisms How do you turn on the Citizen?

9 Conclusion Could relate these initiatives to the ladder of participation The research looks at what underlies this Information Consultation Deciding together Acting together Supporting independent community interests

10 Appendix References Newman, A. and Mclean, F. (2004) 'Capital and the Evaluation of the Museum Experience', International Journal of Cultural Studies, Volume 7, (4): Newman, A. and Mclean, F. (2004) 'Presumption, Policy and Practice: The Use of Museums and Galleries as Agents of Social Inclusion in Great Britain', International Journal of Cultural Policy, 10 (2): Newman, A. Mclean, F. and Urquhart, G. (2005) 'Museums and the Active Citizen: Tackling the Problems of Social Exclusion', Citizenship Studies, Vol. 9, (1):


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