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Title: How do families with young children (2-4 years old) make meaning in a museum?
Author: Hackett, Abigail
ISNI:       0000 0004 5356 2648
Awarding Body: University of Sheffield
Current Institution: University of Sheffield
Date of Award: 2014
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This thesis presents an ethnographic study of the meaning making of a group of parents and young children (aged 2-4 years) visiting museums over the course of a year. Specifically, this study looks at the practice of 7 family groups, making repeated visits to one of two local museums. The researcher accompanied the families as a participant observer, usually accompanied by her own daughter of the same age. Fieldnotes, and hand held video camera footage were the primary means by which data was collected. Multimodality was employed as a lens, alongside ethnography, to make sense of the verbal and non-verbal modes of meaning making of the children and parents during the museum visits. The emerging findings of this research stress the importance of non-verbal modes and of embodied meaning making of the children in the museums, and the tacit, situated knowing this generated. In particular, this thesis foregrounds the children's running, walking, dancing and other means of moving through the museum as a previously under researched aspect of young children's meaning making. In addition, this thesis stresses the importance of time in the families' meaning making. Over the course of the year, the museum became a familiar place to the families, who developed specific traditions or repeated situated practices, which they carried out on each subsequent visit. This thesis draws on theories of space and time to make sense of these processes. These findings add to a body of work on young children's communicative practices, firstly by emphasising moving through as an important component of these practices, and secondly, by providing an example of how the meaning of these practices is situated in time and space.
Supervisor: Pahl, Kate Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available