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Ting och tendens : makt, representation och identitet i arbetet med Europeana

Andersson, Sara LU and Othén, Amelie LU (2013) ABMM74 20131
Division of ALM and Digital Cultures
Abstract
With a discourse analytical approach, our main theory and premiss for this thesis was to examine how identity is created and reflected in the database Europeana, through election of objects made at national level. The focus of this thesis was primarily on the manufacturing process and the institutions and secondary on the user level. Our intention was to investigate whether it is possible to identify a shift and a transformation from a national to a cross-border regional creation of identity. Our research has therefore focused on the representation and awareness regarding selection and digitalization of museum objects.
We wanted to discuss how the selection of objects for the database Europeana could influence the creation of regional,... (More)
With a discourse analytical approach, our main theory and premiss for this thesis was to examine how identity is created and reflected in the database Europeana, through election of objects made at national level. The focus of this thesis was primarily on the manufacturing process and the institutions and secondary on the user level. Our intention was to investigate whether it is possible to identify a shift and a transformation from a national to a cross-border regional creation of identity. Our research has therefore focused on the representation and awareness regarding selection and digitalization of museum objects.
We wanted to discuss how the selection of objects for the database Europeana could influence the creation of regional, national and cross-border regional identity and by whom it was made. The institutions we examined were:

Europeana: A united European cultural heritage database with all kinds of media types such as museum objects, paintings, books and archival records. The Swedish History Museum (Statens Historiska museum) and their database “Sök i samlingarna”. The majority of our interviews took place there. Swedish national heritage board (Riksantikvarieämbetet) and their function K-samsök in the role as an intermediator connecting the databases of SHM and Europeana.

We have mainly used interviews and mapping of the databases as our methods. The theory has been inspired by critical theory using Jürgen Habermas thoughts concerning communicative action and colonization of the life world, Manuel Castells about identity and the Network society and Gerard Delanty about European identity. As we soon discovered, some of our basic assumptions about the level of awareness at SHM regarding the impact caused by the selection of objects, proved to be wrong. Therefore the main point of our thesis shifted from the physical object to selection processes, which also affected the following work with the analysis of the material and discussion.

•The selection for Europeana is a mechanical process and is not an issue that SHM reflects about to any great extent. We distinguished two parallel discourses; the mechanical and the reflecting.

•The knowledge organizational system and the geographical classification of objects clearly reinforce the collection's national basis.

•The museum's position of power can be seen as an unproblematic taking, which effects how and what the museum communicates. This could be related to the national assignment and the cultural politics.

•Identity is not static it is contextually bound. Each individual can have multiple identities, and these can interact.

•By looking at objects as individuals interacting, we have been able to understand how objects can create identity. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
Andersson, Sara LU and Othén, Amelie LU
supervisor
organization
alternative title
Thing and tendency : power, representation and identity in the work with Europeana
course
ABMM74 20131
year
type
H2 - Master's Degree (Two Years)
subject
keywords
ABM, Museologi, Europeana, Diskurs, Makt, Representation, Identitet, Identitetsskapande, Statens Historiska Museum, Kunskapsorganisation, Föremål, Databas, Digitalisering, Kulturpolitik ALM, Museology, Discourse, Power, Identity, Identity creation, The Swedish History Museum, Knowledge organization, Objects, Databases, Digitization, Cultural politics
language
Swedish
id
3806463
date added to LUP
2013-09-13 10:20:03
date last changed
2014-04-11 14:16:33
@misc{3806463,
  abstract     = {With a discourse analytical approach, our main theory and premiss for this thesis was to examine how identity is created and reflected in the database Europeana, through election of objects made at national level. The focus of this thesis was primarily on the manufacturing process and the institutions and secondary on the user level. Our intention was to investigate whether it is possible to identify a shift and a transformation from a national to a cross-border regional creation of identity. Our research has therefore focused on the representation and awareness regarding selection and digitalization of museum objects.
We wanted to discuss how the selection of objects for the database Europeana could influence the creation of regional, national and cross-border regional identity and by whom it was made. The institutions we examined were:

Europeana: A united European cultural heritage database with all kinds of media types such as museum objects, paintings, books and archival records. The Swedish History Museum (Statens Historiska museum) and their database “Sök i samlingarna”. The majority of our interviews took place there. Swedish national heritage board (Riksantikvarieämbetet) and their function K-samsök in the role as an intermediator connecting the databases of SHM and Europeana.

We have mainly used interviews and mapping of the databases as our methods. The theory has been inspired by critical theory using Jürgen Habermas thoughts concerning communicative action and colonization of the life world, Manuel Castells about identity and the Network society and Gerard Delanty about European identity. As we soon discovered, some of our basic assumptions about the level of awareness at SHM regarding the impact caused by the selection of objects, proved to be wrong. Therefore the main point of our thesis shifted from the physical object to selection processes, which also affected the following work with the analysis of the material and discussion.

•The selection for Europeana is a mechanical process and is not an issue that SHM reflects about to any great extent. We distinguished two parallel discourses; the mechanical and the reflecting. 

•The knowledge organizational system and the geographical classification of objects clearly reinforce the collection's national basis.

•The museum's position of power can be seen as an unproblematic taking, which effects how and what the museum communicates. This could be related to the national assignment and the cultural politics.

•Identity is not static it is contextually bound. Each individual can have multiple identities, and these can interact.

•By looking at objects as individuals interacting, we have been able to understand how objects can create identity.},
  author       = {Andersson, Sara and Othén, Amelie},
  keyword      = {ABM,Museologi,Europeana,Diskurs,Makt,Representation,Identitet,Identitetsskapande,Statens Historiska Museum,Kunskapsorganisation,Föremål,Databas,Digitalisering,Kulturpolitik ALM,Museology,Discourse,Power,Identity,Identity creation,The Swedish History Museum,Knowledge organization,Objects,Databases,Digitization,Cultural politics},
  language     = {swe},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Ting och tendens : makt, representation och identitet i arbetet med Europeana},
  year         = {2013},
}