Museer som et spejl og talerør for deres samtid – udvikling i de etnografiske museers rolle og funktion som folkeopdrager og skaber af national identitet fra 1800-tallet til i dag

Detta är en Kandidat-uppsats från Lunds universitet/Socialantropologi

Sammanfattning: This Bachelor’s thesis examines the ever-changing educational role of the museum in our society. With a specific focus on the ethnographic museum, especially the Danish National museum’s ethnographic collection, I will try to illustrate the constant discussions on the topic of how one in the best way can represent or create exhibitions in the present day. Today people have an image of museum curators back in the 19th century as being racist on the ground of how they visually displayed cultures. But they were thinking the same back then; “How can I in the best possible way teach people about this particular culture?”. The difference in the curators approach back then compared to what a curator would do today can be seen and understood from the perspective of time. The contemporary political and social discourses always play a part in how the museums makes exhibitions about other cultures. As Luke (2002) would put it, the museum is a permanent educational tool – and with this comes power. Other than illustrating how and why the museum and its ideas on how to display other cultures changes over time, I will also raise the question on how ethnographic museums can reestablish their relevance again in a contemporary world.

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