Abstract: Social media is increasingly transforming cultural communication frameworks in museums and is representative of the shift in museum ideology over recent years. The thesis contextualises social media use in cultural heritage through a case study on Museum Victoria, examining its social media use and illustrating the value of this form of communication for museums. Social media enables museums to connect with audiences in new ways; conversely, museums are still grappling with the challenges that this communication form presents to their traditional role as cultural gatekeepers. Situated in the emerging field of cultural communication, the thesis uses digital cultural communication methods and practices as a framework to assess and evaluate museums social media use. Cultural Communication is an evolving field which is within and/ or in response to cultural activity, is interactive, proactive and offers opportunities for active cultural participation, engagement and co-creation (Russo, “Transformations in Cultural Communication”). Cultural Communication methodologies deal with the philosophical assumptions which underlie research directed and/or in response to evolving cultural programs. It uses a variety of ‘digital cultural communication’ methods which offer the tools and literacies required to engage in cultural activity, thus creating active cultural participants.
Author: Caroline Downes
Supervisor: Angelina Russo