Museum-making: ‘New’ Canadians reimagine heritage and citizenship

Ashley, Susan (2016) Museum-making: ‘New’ Canadians reimagine heritage and citizenship. In: Representation and Citizenship. Series in Citizenship Studies . Wayne State University Press, Detroit. ISBN 9780814342473

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This chapter explores how heritage institutions, particularly museums, contribute to practices of democracy as spaces and media of knowledge-building used by “new” Canadians. What is represented in a museum, a public space, can affect how Canadian society sees itself, how outsiders see us, and who is defined as belonging to this community as citizens. Museums have historically been situated at the intersection of representation and citizenship, as both formally and informally inscribed. They represent and authenticate official statements about meaning and belonging, while at the same time serving as “neutral” public spaces for knowledge-building and citizen participation. Museums legitimize versions of a state or community’s history, what is accepted as heritage, who belongs to that heritage, who has membership and status within a community, and who does not belong. And expressions of nondominant players may be included or appropriated by this institution. Yet at the same time they serve as informal public spaces or arenas for social interaction and dialogue. The balancing of these seemingly incommensurate roles has been a central question in museology—representing and shaping citizens on one hand, and on the other serving as site and tool for alternative meaning-making, expressions, and participation in culture, heritage, and citizenship.

Item Type: Book Section
Subjects: L300 Sociology
L900 Others in Social studies
Department: Faculties > Arts, Design and Social Sciences > Arts
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Depositing User: Paul Burns
Date Deposited: 21 Mar 2016 09:43
Last Modified: 01 Aug 2021 06:36

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