The professional museumscape : Portuguese poetics and politics - Volume 1
thesisposted on 15.12.2014, 10:45 by Alice Semedo
This research arose from the desire to better understand the museum and inquire into its role while considering the often unexamined issues and assumptions that lie at the epistemological basis of the museum as seen in current practices and debates. This is a study of the poetics and politics of Portuguese museums in the sense that it attempted a semiotic and a discursive approach which is concerned with both how ideologies are represented in signifying practices and the effects and consequences of representations. The philosophy underlying these questions reflects the current concerns on reflexivity, regarding the social, political and ideological agendas of professional groups. The first part of this study presents the theoretical framework that informed its development as well as some conceptual / methodological tools, namely those of 'ideology1 and 'discourse' 'archaeology'/ 'genealogy' 'habitus, 'field, 'capital' 'structuration'. The second part of the study dugs into the archives of the group. From this archive we chose a set of documents (i.e. museum regulations, legislation), which helped us to chart the relation between the sayable and the visible. The following chapter aims at listening to the voices of individual privileged actors. Using what one may call an 'interpretative content analysis' approach, we studied Proceedings as ideological resource-rich information. The last chapter of part II undertook a general survey of museum professionals. It attempts to explore not only Portuguese museum professionals' constitution but also their views and attitudes towards the profession (principles and practices) and the institutions they work at. A final part offers some general conclusions in relation to these patterns and signs that assisted us unraveling this multifaceted field of meaning.