Seminário de Investigação em Museologia dos Países de Língua Portuguesa e Espanhola, I, 2009
O Museu como Instituição Social e os seus Públicos
Inês Pereira de Almeida de Bettencourt da Câmara
AbstractThe Museum, as we know it, is a child of modern times, spawn from the idea of public service. A powerfull social institution, it must be analised as such, specially in light of its own audiences, of its own explicit purposes, and in its diferent dimensions, as stated by Stephen Weil. In these times of crisis, two sets of questions determine the wide and encompassing debate which surrounds the contemporary role of the Museum. First of all, there are the financial problems emerging from the natural scarcity of public resources. On the other hand, there are conflicting visions within the professional community surrounding diferent strategic postures. In this context, the relationship between the Museum and its audiences is analised through two exploratory studies. We start by presenting the results of an inquiry directed at the leaders of the portuguese museum community on the subject of their institutional relantionship with their audiences. We then finish by discussing the conclusions drawn from a qualitative study built around a universe of young people that belong to the social-demographic group widely considered to be the target for these institutions – high social and intelectual capital, regular school (at least) and family excursions to heritage and culture institutions.
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