Theorizing Equity in the Museum integrates the perspectives of learning researchers and museum practitioners to shed light on the deep-seated structures that must be accounted for if the field is to move past aspirations and rhetoric and towards more inclusive practices. Written during a time when museums around the world were being forced to reckon with their institutional practices of exclusion; their histories of colonization, both cultural and intellectual; and, for many, their tenuous business models, the chapters leverage a range of theoretical perspectives to explore lived experiences of working in the museum towards changing the museum. Theories of spatial justice, critical pedagogy, culturally relevant pedagogy, critical race theory, and others are used to consider how the museum’s dominant cultural structures and norms collide with museum professionals’ aspirations for inclusive practices. The chapters present a mix of empirical research and reflections, which collectively operate to theorize the museum as a potential force for enriching, empowering, and transforming an inclusive public’s relationship with some of our most powerful ideas and aspirations. But first they must change, from the inside out. Grounded in practice and practical problems, Theorizing Equity in the Museum demonstrates how theory can be used as a practical tool for change. As a result the book will be of interest to academics and students engaged in the study of museums, education, learning and culture, as well as to museum practitioners with an interest in equity and inclusion.
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