Public Representations of Immigrants in Museums Towards a Microsociological Contextualisation Analysis

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Title: Public Representations of Immigrants in Museums Towards a Microsociological Contextualisation Analysis
Author: Porsché, Yannik
Publisher: Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies
Date: 2012
Language: eng
Belongs to series: COLLeGIUM: Studies across Disciplines in the Humanities and Social Sciences 13
ISBN: 978-952-10-8578-9
ISSN: 1796-2986
Abstract: This paper outlines a microsociological contextualisation analysis as a methodology which selectively combines elements of interaction and discourse analysis to approach questions of knowledge and memory construction. Examples of such an analysis are presented from a case study on the production and reception of an exhibition designed by and presented in museums of history and migration in Paris (the Cité Nationale de l’Histoire de l’Immigration) and in Berlin (the Deutsches Historisches Museum and the Kreuzbergmuseum). In order to investigate how national and European images of the ‘Self’ and the ‘Other’ are produced in “epistemic cultures” (Knorr-Cetina 2007) of the “global culture industry” (Lash & Lury 2007) the analysis focuses on the interaction between the museum institutions and the general public and asks: How is the public represented in public? Discursive and material constellations function as enabling and constraining contexts which participants simultaneously refer to and (re)produce in text and talk. The construction by reference is accomplished through multimodal contextualisation cues in talk, which serve as a methodological anchor point for the analysis. Additionally, ethnographic data and trans-sequential comparison sheds light on the context understood as conditions of possibility beyond conversation’s structural capacities. The article shows that not only does the content of the analysed exhibition deal with public negotiations of immigrant representations, but that the work by and within the museum institutions and the reception of the exhibition by museum visitors themselves constitute an asymmetrical, cross-cultural stage for negotiation.
Subject: discourse and interaction analysis
the public
Rights: © author(s) & Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies

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