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Self-representation in museums: therapy or democracy?

Thumim, Nancy (2010) Self-representation in museums: therapy or democracy? Critical Discourse Studies, 7 (4). pp. 291-304. ISSN 1740-5904

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Identification Number: 10.1080/17405904.2010.511837


This article explores the discourses of citizenship through which the museum institution is currently framing its public: museum-goers as participants. Drawing on qualitative research on the London's Voices project at the Museum of London, and 1934: A New Deal For Artists at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington DC, this paper examines the ways in which the contemporary museum, and cultural policy internationally, has converged around the activity of inviting members of the public to 'speak for themselves' through a variety of media technologies. Discursive analysis of such mediated activities as activities of self-representation suggests that this strategy of participation is simultaneously both productive and uneasy, as questions of institutional legitimacy and citizen empowerment co-exist within the broader social context of the self-speaking or auto/biographical society

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2010 Taylor & Francis.
Divisions: Media and Communications
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Date Deposited: 23 Aug 2011 10:48
Last Modified: 13 Apr 2024 00:15

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