Young people’s own museum views

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Taking a mixed-methods, visitor-focused approach to views on museums, this article examines what views young Danes aged 13–23 years (n = 2,350) hold on museums and how these views can be categorized and articulated. Arguing that studying views of museums as socially situated meaning-making practices adds theoretical and empirical depth to existing research and practice, we apply semantic categorization, speech-act theory, and cognitive linguistics as analytical tools. Our results demonstrate that respondents’ most prevalent semantic categories are ‘exciting,’ ‘educative,’ and ‘boring.’ Their responses fall into two main types: assertive speech acts providing factual descriptions and expressive speech acts providing more evaluative judgments. In general, young Danes make sense of museums along three different routes. One group wants museums that expand and challenge prior perceptions and knowledge, another group prefers museums that cater to existing interests, while members of a third, smaller group take it upon themselves to make museum visits enriching experiences.
Bidragets oversatte titelUnges syn på museer
TidsskriftMuseum Management and Curatorship
Sidetal (fra-til)456-72
StatusUdgivet - sep. 2017


  • Museum views; young people; museum visitors; speech-act theory; cognitive linguistics

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