Museums and cultural diversity

A persistent challenge

Authored by: Ien Ang

The Routledge Handbook of Museums, Media and Communication

Print publication date:  November  2018
Online publication date:  December  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138676305
eBook ISBN: 9781315560168
Adobe ISBN:


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In the past few decades, contemporary liberal democratic societies are faced with the dilemmas posed by the increasing cultural diversity of their populations as a consequence of intensifying flows of transnational migration. Museums are often called upon to play a role in managing the impact of this increasing cultural diversity through exhibition strategies that communicate multicultural messages and by reaching out to migrant groups as museum audiences (the so-called “inclusive museum.”) This chapter will describe some of the possibilities and limits of such “opening up” of the museum. Through examples, the chapter will highlight some of the contradictions in this process which are associated with the institutional context of “the museum” itself.

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