The Tourist Gaze and ‘Family Treasure Trails’ in Museums

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Museums are largely neglected in the tourist research literature. This is even more striking given that they are arguably designed for gazing. There is little doubt that “graying” of the Western population adds to the number and range of museums. And yet, even in adult museums, there will be children who are “dragged along.” Museums are increasingly aware of such conflicts and dilemmas. Many museums offer printed booklets with “treasure trails.” They afford a trail through the museum that forms a treasure hunt for specific objects and correct answers to questions related to the objects. This article draws attention to this overlooked, mundane technology and gives it its deserved share of the limelight. We are concerned with exploring ethnographically how trails are designed and especially used by young families in museums for gazing. The article gives insight into how children, broadly speaking, learn to gaze within museums as well as small-scale negotiations and conflicts between families gazing. So we are concerned with how family trails affect the museum visit
Original languageEnglish
JournalTourist Studies
Volume14
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)105-125
ISSN1468-7976
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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