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ERIC Number: EJ933141
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 16
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 47
ISSN: ISSN-1477-9714
Reaching beyond the Pale: Towards an Understanding of African-Americans' Mental Models of Museums
Dudzinska-Przesmitzki, Dana; Grenier, Robin S.
Journal of Adult and Continuing Education, v16 n2 p36-51 Aut 2010
The ability of US museums to attract and engage ethnically diverse audiences, including African Americans is a problem that has plagued museums for decades (Falk, 1993; Philipp, 1999). Scholars have sought to understand traditional visitors' perceptions of museums in order to better to increase visitations and promote lifelong learning, but research based on African-American conceptions is largely absent. To understand African-Americans' conceptions of museums and their consequential effects on visitation decisions, an interpretative qualitative study was conducted. As a part of this study, eight African-American participants constructed concept maps to exploring their mental models of museums. Using map and constant-comparative methods of analysis, three themes emerged from this map data. First, museums are perceived as places of learning and education, which influences participants' visitation decisions. Second, museums are perceived as offering a narrow and often inaccurate representation of African Americans. Third and final, participants visit in order to escape socioculture pressures. The affect of each theme is discussed and implications for museum and adult educators are provided. (Contains 1 figure and 1 table.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Adult Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: District of Columbia; United States