Politics of Representation in Museums

Authored by: Louise Tythacott

Encyclopedia of Library and Information Science, Fourth Edition

Print publication date:  November  2017
Online publication date:  November  2017

Print ISBN: 9781466552593
eBook ISBN: 9781315116143
Adobe ISBN:


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This entry begins by examining key words, “politics,” “power,” and “representation,” as they relate to the museum. It then moves on to explore how the politics of representation have been manifested in displays. A range of exhibitions is examined, particularly in national, art, and ethnographic museums. The entry posits the case that museums are not simply neutral containers of objects, but are ideologically loaded spaces, and it demonstrates how museum displays have, over the past decades, become politically charged battlegrounds between differing communities.

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