Consuming in Museums: Visitor Behaviours in Postmodern Era

By Elif Cigdem Artan.

Published by The Humanities Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

While classical sociological approach was stating that museums belonged to privileged societal groups, today, contemporary museology approach not only gives importance to unprivileged social groups but also tries to engage them with museums through their educative role. In the Turkish context, the private museums in Istanbul, emerged after 1980s, appeared as a breaking point in Turkish Museology history as they adopted the new museology conception, contrary to national museums which adopted classical museology approach. Furthermore, it is obvious that since 1980s, paralleling the adoption of liberal economy, new identities emerged in Turkey. Turkish businessmen, pioneering this new development, became more oriented towards cultural and social issues, in addition to their economic gains. Besides, as a consequence of continuing globalization, global culture penetrated into Turkish culture. One can argue that popular culture, mass communication and consumption are the elements of this new period that modified Turkish culture, museology and museum places. In modern contexts museums are considered as sacred, conservative places where national ideology and societal memory are transmitted to the new generations as representation of national identity. To the contrary, with the emergence of private museums in Istanbul, museum spaces are transformed into a synthetic place of shopping mall and public fairground as new services are offered to visitors (café, restaurant, museum shop, education programs, conferences, cinema, etc.). This paper analyzes the ways in which identity is constructed through consumption in museums: through visiting attitudes, volunteering or attaining membership.

Keywords: Museum Studies, Postmodernism, Globalization, Consumption Theories

International Journal of the Humanities, Volume 6, Issue 7, pp.1-6. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 587.474KB).

Elif Cigdem Artan

Scholarship Student and Teaching Assistant, MA Program, Anatolian Civilizations and Cultural Heritage Management, Koç University, Istanbul, Turkey

Cigdem Artan graduated from Sociology Department at Galatasaray University in 2007. Her BA thesis is titled as Transformation of social functions of museum as an interactive matrix and a consumption ground: A Study on the Private Museums in Istanbul. She is currently pursuing her graduate studies at Koç University, at the department of Anatolian Civilizations and Cultural Heritage Management. Her research interests include cultural history, art history, museum studies, popular culture, consumption culture, mass communication.

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