The motivations of visitors for visiting museums: a comparative study of museum visitors in Western countries, Malaysia and Thailand
Today’s museum administrators look at the importance of understanding motivations of their visitors. However, visitors’ motivations may be different by their cultural background. This paper is to look at the similarities and differences in the motivations of people in Western countries and those of Malaysians and Thai people for visiting museums in their respective countries. The analysis is based on findings of three papers. The first paper is a paper that classifies motivations of museum visitors in Western countries into seven categories. The second one looks at motivations of students of the Universiti Utara Malaysia to visit museums in Malaysia. The third paper is a previous research done by the author and a colleague on the motivations of Thai people for visiting two museums in Thailand. This paper illustrates some similarities and differences in these motivations and recommends museum administrators to think of different strategies to attract visitors of different cultural backgrounds to visit their museums.
คีย์เวิร์ด: Museums, Motivations, Western Countries, Malaysia, Thailand, Cultural differences
Communication and Museums : Museums as a Place of Discourse
Museums communicate their meaning to societies through their discourse. Through the discourse, museums can convey certain values, ideas or truths to societies. The discourse of a museum embraces a power which can generate or instill a common sense and reinforce or give new insights to museum visitors. Up to a point, the discourse of a museum can be in agreement or contradiction with the existing knowledge and beliefs of visitors. To understand museums is to understand the discourse of museums. No two museums are the same. It is the discourse of a museum that makes museums different and meaningful to societies. However, no discourse is neutral. “Museums are invention of men….They exist for the things we put in them (Silver, cited in Weil, 1990, p. xiv).” The discourse of museums is subjected to the arrangement of mankind. This paper looks into the way museums garnish their objects and functions with specific concepts and assumptions to impart into the understanding of museum visitors of the discourses of museums. Museums as a place of discourse are to influence the visitors’ perception and understanding of the world at large.
คีย์เวิร์ด: Museums, Discourse, Communication, Meaning
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