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Title: Folk life museums and their communications with the public
Author: Fakatseli, Olga
ISNI:       0000 0001 3456 5630
Awarding Body: University of London
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2006
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Attempts to establish interdisciplinary links between folkloric heritage and European museums have been made since the nineteenth century. However, what is almost entirely lacking nowadays within the relationship between folklore and museums is both a museum accommodation with modem folkloric theoretical perspectives and a close investigation of museum visitors' and museum curators' perceptions about folklore. With the aid of surveys, interviews and Museum Critical Reviews this thesis examines the subject of folklore as perceived by visitors and curators and as interpreted in contemporary European museums. The findings emerging from the systematic analysis of the data confirm the initial hypothesis of a prejudiced image of folklore in the public mind as something that belongs mainly to a rural material past with little relevance to contemporary urban environments. This perception is reinforced by the fact that modern folk museums tend to present folklore as a contrast between past, rural cultures and modem, urban cultures as opposed to modem academic folklore theory, which has expanded its interests to encompass metropolitan and industrialised environments, an area which is usually partly dealt with in museums as social history. This thesis addresses the challenging issue of the folk life museum's present and its possible relevance to modern contemporary societies and develops guidelines for what a 21st century folk museum should aspire to in its mission, collecting and interpretive functions. If museums keep pace with modem folkloric theory and take into consideration visitors' perceptions they may well help to facilitate a more adequate understanding and communication of folklore. They could then widen and enrich our understanding of contemporary and diverse societies and revolutionize our experience and interpretation of culture, heritage and cultural values.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available