University of Leicester
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Learning recollection and connection : a study of cultural identities amongst visitors to local museums in Taiwan

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posted on 2014-12-15, 10:45 authored by Chia-Li Chen
Along with the social and political transformation Taiwan has seen a rapid growth of local museums in 1990s and many of them are housed in renovated historical buildings.;This thesis aims to examine the social and political background that has contributed to the rapid development of local museums in Taiwan to investigate the role of local museums in the construction of people's cultural identities in contemporary Taiwanese society. A qualitative research was employed; five museums were chosen as five case studies and twenty-five local frequent visitors were interviewed. Through systematic analysis of interview data a model explaining participants' construction of cultural identities in local museums has emerged. Learning, recollection and connection are identified as three major modes of visitors' experiences that influence the shaping of participants' cultural identities in local museums.;Based on historical review, observation and interview data, this thesis argues that the establishment of local museums within the renovation and preservation of historical building provides a space which people can visit, where they can recollect and with which they can identity. It is on the one hand a setting for informal learning, enabling participants to acquire information, compare it with their prior knowledge and construct their own historical views. On the other hand, it is a 'dream space' where visitors recollect and interweave their personal memories with the historical framework presented in the museum. Through this process, the museum enables visitors to reconnect with their locality, build a sense of belonging and construct their cultural identities based on locality and history.


Date of award


Author affiliation

Museum studies

Awarding institution

University of Leicester

Qualification level

  • Doctoral

Qualification name

  • PhD



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