Lead Research Organisation: Cardiff University
Department Name: Sch of Social Sciences


The rationale of this project is the need to understand the role of sociological knowledge in claims made by cultural institutions about their social role and credentials. Museum audience studies increasingly employ a sociological language designed to evidence their social and societal role, encouraged by governments seeking to enlist museums into social policy agendas. This often contains unexamined, contested and/or outdated, commonplace assumptions about society, individual behaviour and social identities. The studentship will examine the assumptions, ontologies and epistemologies employed in these claims and their supporting evidence, and assess the extent of sociological insight within them.
Current public policy, particularly in Wales but of wider provenance, requires cultural institutions to justify their public funding by widening participation, responding to diverse audience needs, and conducting audience research to enhance their social 'relevance'. The aim is to submit these claims to critical scrutiny informed by sociological methods and knowledge, and thereby assess the wider contribution of sociology to audience-oriented cultural research and policy.


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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
ES/P00069X/1 01/10/2017 30/09/2027
1946874 Studentship ES/P00069X/1 01/10/2017 07/07/2022 Joshua John Headington