Cultural Policies And Mechanism Studies Cultural Studies Essay

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Tony Bennett is a leading character in contemporary western cultural studies, and a famous Marxism critic on theory of literature and art. He is also well-known for his research in cultural policies and mechanism. Bennetts research on museum is an important aspect of his cultural studies which correspondences with his pragmatic method on cultural policies and mechanism studies. This thesis centers on analysis Bennetts museum studies, to understand the mechanism of museum and politics discourse. Governmentality theory is applied to analyze the complex relations between knowledge and power in museum, and the relations between museum and the public. Besides, from the perspectives of memory and narrative, analysis is giving to understand Bennetts research on evolutionary museums of ethnic narrative and colonial governance. In addition, the variance of new museology and the challenges in the modern context are considered to form a comprehensive horizon of Bennetts museum studies. The study will be carried out from the following aspects.

The Introduction is mainly on the academic background of Tony Bennett, his theoretical routing. Then analysis will give to the present research conditions of Bennett, and the meaning and scope of the research on theme of Bennetts museum studies.

Chapter one is to form a general understanding of the museum, the notion of it, its origin, development routing and background. Discussion will give to the relation of museum and cultural studies, how museum studies are related to cultural studies, especially Bennetts cultural policy studies. Besides, it will analyze the basis for Bennetts interest in studying the mechanisms of museum.

Chapter two based on the relations between culture and governance to analysis Bennetts museum studies. First, from the perspective of museum as a culture institution, it divides the museum into different categories of collection, architecture, exhibition and representation according to its basic dimensionalities on the mechanism of museum. Second, from the perspective of governmentality, a Foucaulian approach is taken to explore the relations between museum and the practices of government. Third, analysis is giving to the relations between museum and the public, how museum functions as a civic laboratory on popular schooling. Fourth, based on the previous discussion, it further considered Bennetts concept of museum politics.

Chapter three illustrates Bennetts study on the evolutionary museum from the perspectives of memory and narrative, to understand the function of evolutionary museum to recall the past and its role in colonial governance. First, it takes museum as memory machine to analyze the memory function of museum and the memory practices, how museum served as the incubators for new forms of knowledge. Second, from the dimensions of ethnic narrative and colonial governance, especially on the context of colonial Australia, it expounds on Bennetts research on the governance practices of evolutionary museum. Lastly, it analyzes how museum is mobilized in new ethnic narrative to make history.

Chapter Four is on the analysis of the new museum and the challenges museum encountered in new era to extend Bennetts museum studies. First, it explains the new museum idea in the context of modernity, to explore its variation and development trend, and the relations between ecomuseum and community. Then, the challenges that posed to museum in new era to form a comprehensive horizon of Bennetts museum studies.

Finally, it comments on Bennetts methodologies and characteristics on museum studies, to form a critical analysis of the significance of Bennetts museum studies and shortcomings. A summary will give to retrospect the above mentioned chapters, further demonstrate the aspects of Bennetts pragmatic studies on museum mechanisms and politics, and to give my expectation for the future work.

Keywords: Tony Bennett, Museum, Governmentality, Memory, Narrative


Contents IV

Introduction 1

Chapter 1 Understanding Museum 5

1.1Defining Museum 5

1.2 The Development Routing of Museum 5

1.3 The Basis for Bennetts Museum Studies 6


Tony Bennett is one of the famous scholars in contemporary western Cultural Studies, and an outstanding Marxism critic on theory of literature and art. He is also well-known for his research in cultural policies and mechanism. Bennett was born in 1947, Manchester. He got his Bachelor Degree of politic, physic and economic from Oxford University, and during his graduate study of sociology in Sussex University he turned his interest to art and literature sociology, so he was interdisciplinary in education background. Since 60-70s of the 20th century, Bennett has been influenced by the CCCS before he engaged in the Birmingham School. He has a close relation with the Birmingham School on theoretic perspectives. Though a Ëœlater comer, Bennett is on the position of inheriting and deepening the theoretic tradition of cultural studies. Even after the close of CCCS, Bennett remains an active scholar in the realm of cultural studies.

As a pragmatic scholar, Bennett spares no effort to transcend the boundary of disciplines to conjuncture social sciences and humanities into his research. He has a broad area of research interest, theses including literary theory, cultural studies, cultural sociology, and museum studies etc. The common thread running through his interests concerns how culture is related to power and their relations. Besides his fame as a critic on literature criticism and Marxist aesthetics research, he is often engaged cultural policy studies, and has played a leading role. Bennett calls on to put policy into cultural studies critically, technically and practically. Besides, he cultural sociology cultural practice and consumption in both Australia and Britain, and critical engagements with the sociology of literature and audience and reception theory. Bennetts research on museum is an important aspect of his cultural studies, which is in line with his cultural policy studies, to combine cultural studies with government practice pragmatically, so as to fulfill the mission of Ëœorganic intellectual. His museum studies have contributed to the development of the Ëœnew museology particularly in the light it has thrown on the role of museum as an instrument of social governance.

The main works of Bennett including: Culture: Formalism and Marxism (1979), Bond and Beyond: The Political Career of a Popular Hero (1987), Outside Literature (1990), The Birth of the Museum: History, Theory, Politics (1995), Museums and Citizenship: A Resource Book (1996), Culture: A Reformers Science (1998), Accounting for Tastes (1999), Pasts Beyond Memories: Evolution, Museums, Colonialism (2004), New Keywords: A Revised Vocabulary of Culture and Society (2005), Culture and Society: Collected Essays (2007), Critical Trajectories: Culture, Society, Intellectuals (2007), Culture, Class, Distinction (2009) etc.

As an active scholar in the academic field for idea exchange and culture discourse, Bennett had come to the mainland twice. While as a visiting professor in Henan University in 2005, he gave a lecture in Beijing Language and Culture University titled ˜British Cultural Studies-Another Paradigm. In 2009, as a visiting professor in Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities and Social Sciences of Nanjing University, there he gave three speeches, respectively, ˜Culture, History, Habit; ˜Aesthetics, Government, Freedom; and ˜Habitus Clivé: Aesthetics and Politics in the Work of Pierre Bourdieu. Under this condition, the academic influence of Tony Bennett in the mainland and premier researches on Bennett domestically also starts from these universities.

Domestically, the research on Bennett has already aroused our scholars attention and interest. The themes can be generally divided into these categories: Marxism aesthetics, literary criticism, intellectual concept and cultural criticism.

First, on the theme of text reading studies, for example, ËœThe Public Reading and Explain Manipulation-on the Reading Theory of Tony Bennett by Zhang Liangcong and ËœText in History-the Marxism Approach of Tony Bennett on Text of Popular Culture by Zhou Hailing, the writers analyzed how Tony Bennett deconstructing the metaphysics of text as a tradition of formalism and the new criticism which regard the text as a self-autonomy object, and Bennetts strategy of putting forward the concept of reading formation between the text and the reader, and the inter-textuality theory, to form a method of text historization practice.

Second, on the theme of aesthetics, for example, in ËœThe Horizon of Tony Bennetts Marxism Aesthetics by Zhang Yuqin, the author presents with three dimensionalities: from text to history, or historization; from culture to society (related to the mode of popular culture studies); and from criticism to practice (related to the new intellectual concept); and in ËœHistory, Society, Practice-Dimensionality of Tony Bennett Marxism Aesthetics, Zhang explicitly put forward and demonstrated history context, social dimensionality and field of practice as the three theoretical dimensionalities within Bennett Marxism aesthetics studies. Similarly, in ËœThe Study of Tony Bennetts Marxism Aesthetics by Wang Jie, the writer emphasizes Bennetts inheritance of the routing of the traditional British Marxism to raise questions from literary phenomena from the perspective of combining culture and society together, and the theory and practice of Bennett in cultural practice.

Third, on the theme of intellectual, for example, ËœIntellectual is not a role by Tao Dongfeng is an interpretation of the ideal of Bennetts concept on intellectuals. Similarly, ËœIntellectual: a Social Groups from Criticism to Practice-and the Intellectual Concept of Tony Bennett by Cao Chengzhu regards Bennett as representative of the practical intellectual. ËœA Move from Å“Downside Up - A Realistic Approach by Tony Bennett to the Cultural Goal of the Leftist Intellectuals reckons on the role of the leftist intellectuals from the perspective of governmentality and sociology routing.

Fourth, on the theme of cultural criticism, including ËœTony Bennett and 20th British Cultural Studies by Duan Jifang expounds on Tony Bennett's cultural studies that both echoes the theory tradition of British Cultural Studies and transcended it, especially on the tradition of Marxist aesthetic. ËœTony Bennett and his Political and Cultural Ideas by Luo Ximing, gives a detail presentation of the evolution of Bennett academic thoughts and how Bennett applies the framework of theorization to cultural practice.

Besides, there is one selected works of Tony Bennett, Tony Bennett: Culture and Society, translated by Wang Jie etc, which is divided into 5 parts under different themes: aesthetics, social history and text, culture and governmentality, the governmentality of museum and the function of intellectuals respectively, featured with several papers on each chapter. Tony Bennett specially writes a preface for it, titled ËœMy Research on Cultural Studies-Writing for the Chinese Readers. Still, there are two interviews of Bennett domestically, namely ËœAesthetics, Society, Politics-an Interview with Tony Bennett by Wang Jie & Xu Fangfu; and ËœPolitics for Revising Cultural Studies-an Interview with Tony Bennett by Jin Huimin.

In addition, there are some translations of Bennetts papers have been published. For example, ËœCultural Studies and Intellectual-A Conversation with Tony Bennett translated by Tao Dongfeng which is included in Literature and Art Studies (2006); ËœPutting Policy into Culture Studies was include in Cultural Studies-A Reader (2000), edited by Luo Gang & Liu Xiangyu; ËœIntellectuals, Culture, Policy: the Technical, the Practical, and the Critical is included in Cultural Studies, Volume 2, edited by Tao Dongfeng. ËœPopular Culture and Turn to Gramsci translated by Lu Yang is included in Popular Culture Studies (2001); ËœCultural Studies: a Pragmatic Approach is included in Cultural Studies: An Essential Reader (2006), edited by Tao Dongfeng.

In the western world, the study on Bennett is similar as to the research perspectives. For example, in The SAGE Dictionary of Cultural Studies, edited by Chris Barker, ˜Tony Bennett was included as an entry. In Post-Marxist Theory-An Introduction, edited by Philip Goldstein, there is one chapter titled: ˜Post-Marxism and Cultural Studies: The Reception Theory of Tony Bennett and John Frow lies in analyzing the reception theory of Tony Bennett and John Frow. Several papers of Bennett are compiled into other collections. ˜Marxism and Popular Fiction is included in Contemporary Marxism Literary Criticism, edited by Francis Mulhern, with a Chinese version translated by Liu Xiangyu etc. ˜Popular Culture and Turn to Gramsci is included in Approaches to Media-A Reader, edited by Oliver Boyd-Barrett & Chris Newbold, also with a Chinese version. ˜Putting Policy into Culture Studies is included in The Cultural Studies Reader, edited by Simon During. ˜Habitus Clivé: Aesthetics and Politics in the Work of Pierre Bourdieu is included in New Directions in American Reception Study, edited by Philip Goldstein and James L. Machor. ˜The Shape of the Past is included in Nation, Culture, Text-Australian cultural and media studies, edited by Graeme Turner. ˜Habit, freedom and the government of social conduct is included as a chapter in Conduct, Sociology and Social Worlds, edited by Liz McFall etc.

As we see from the information mentioned above, the researches on Bennett mainly focus on Marxist aesthetics and the perspective of literary criticism, or from the theoretical scheme of Bennetts cultural criticism. As to the researches on Tony Bennetts cultural criticism studies, they are mainly on the introduction of the general transformation of Bennetts academic thoughts, his theoretical routing, and Bennetts relationship with the Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies (CCCS). However, there is not a research exclusively focus on the theme of Bennetts museum studies to reckon on the relations between museum and governance, and to interpret the content and meaning of Bennetts pragmatic research on institution mechanism and politics. Actually, these aspects are among the main focus of Bennett. This thesis expects to gain some breakthrough in these aspects.

Chapter 1 Understanding Museum

1.1Defining Museum

The definition of the museum has evolved in line with society development. Speaking from etymology, the English word Ëœmuseum comes from Latin. It is originated from the Greek Îœουσεá¿-ον (Mouseion), which denotes a place or temple dedicated to the Muses (the patron divinities in Greek mythology of the arts), and hence a building set apart for study and the arts. Thus Ëœmuseum came to mean a place of education, connected with the Muses. There are also other interpretations. Euripides describes the places where birds sing as mouseia. (Oxford Companion to Classical Literature) The first museum/library is considered to be the one of Plato in Athens. In Roman times the word referred to a place devoted to scholarly occupation (e.g. Museum of Alexandria).

General speaking, the museum is a building, place, or institution devoted to the acquisition, conservation, study, exhibition, and educational interpretation of objects having scientific, historical, or artistic value. (Cherie D. Abbey) According to the ICOM (International Council of Museums) Statutes, it adopted the definition below during the 21st General Conference in Vienna, Austria, in 2007:

A museum is a non-profit, permanent institution in the service of society and its development, open to the public, which acquires, conserves, researches, communicates and exhibits the tangible and intangible heritage of humanity and its environment for the purposes of education, study and enjoyment.

Museums can be various in categories, including arts, archaeology, anthropology, ethnology, history, cultural history, science, technology, natural history, botanical and zoological gardens etc. in different regional and cultural settings. Within these categories many museums specialize further, e.g. museums of modern art, folk art, local history, military history, aviation history, philately, agriculture or geology. Rather than specific in theme, encyclopedic museum is the one with collections of art, science, history, and cultural history representative of the world.

As a public institution, the museum dedicated to preserving and interpreting the primary tangible evidence of humans and their environment. Public museums were created to replace private collections by displaying collected works where the general public could profit from a shared experience. The study of art, artifacts, and object become more accessible to everyone, providing a means of discovery and wonder. As cultural palace, the museum bears the memory and wisdom of the history development of mankind. It is like an encyclopedia to incorporate the material and spiritual civilization of our anestrous, just like a birthmark of a city or a country.

1.2 The Development Routing of Museum

The oldest public museum in the world was originated in the ancient Greek and Roman worlds during the Renaissance. Early museums began as the private collections of wealthy individuals, families or institutions of art and rare or curious natural objects and artifacts. These were often displayed in so-called wonder rooms or cabinets of curiosities. The curiosity cabinet is the earliest form of a museum in Western civilization. (Genoways, Hugh H.).

However, it was not until the 17th and 18th century, the origin of the modern museum came into being. The Ashmolean museum, founded in 1677 from the personal collection of Elias Ashmole, was set up in the University of Oxford to be open to the public and is considered to be the first modern public museum. Previously, the museums may have enclosed objects within walls, but the nineteenth century witnessed their doors opened to the general public-witnesses, the museum transformed from the enclosed sphere of court festivals to the public museum, to replace private collections by displaying collected works where the general public could profit from a shared experience. These public museums, however, were often accessible only by the middle and upper classes. In Victorian times England, the museum gradually opens its door to the other working classes so as to enable the opportunity for ˜self-improvement. In France, the first public museum was the Louvre Museum in Paris, also a royal palace, opened in 1793 during the French Revolution, which enabled for the first time free access to the former French royal collections for people of all stations and status. The Revolution transformed the museum from a symbol of arbitrary power into an educative instrument and artifacts collection. (Bennett 1995a: 89) The 18th century saw the opening of great museums such as the British Museum, Louvre, and Uffizi Gallery. By the early 19th century the granting of public access to formerly private collections had become common. The development of museums in the nineteenth 19 century was governed by the view that it would be possible to achieve ˜by the ordered display of selected artifacts a total representation of human reality and history. Museums were arranged to simulate the organization of the world-human and natural-outside the museum walls. It expects to form the rational ordering of things that might mirror the real order of things (Bennett 1988b: 82). The late 19th and early 20th centuries has witnessed a period of intense construction of museum, which is known as ˜the museum period or ˜the museum age. What followed the next 100 years was the worldwide building of museum intended for the public. In the 20th century, museums have broadened their roles as educational facilities, sources of leisure activity, and information centers. Many sites of historical or scientific significance have been developed as museums. Museum attendance has increased greatly, often attracted by blockbuster exhibitions. Over the centuries their functions and role have changed, although at their basic function is the preservation and display of collections. Nevertheless, nowadays museums continuously contribute new knowledge to their fields and continue to build collections that are useful for both research and display. In The Birth of the Museum, Bennett provides a diachronic formation of the museum. Through his accounts, Bennett focuses on the genealogy of the modern public museum, to illuminate the coordination around questions of museum policies and politics that posed.

1.3 The Basis for Bennetts Museum Studies

Tony Bennetts museum studies are related to the evolution of his theoretical routing and constitute a main part of his cultural studies, so there is a necessity to understand the relations of Bennetts museum studies and his cultural studies, especially his thoughts on culture policy studies. Theoretically, Bennett initiates his research on Marxism aesthetic and literature criticism. He is in a close relation with CCCS. Bennett's cultural studies both responded the theory tradition of British Cultural Studies and transcended it. He paid more attention to the working class experience, cultural government and cultural practice. His theory pattern not only transcended the theory tradition of culturalism and structuralism, but embodied with a special political characteristic, which causes a criticism-policy polarity. As to the dichotomy of Ëœcriticism and policy, ORegan argued that Ëœcultural policy and criticism are not hermetically sealed but are porous systems; open enough to permit transformation, incorporation and translation, fluid enough to permit a great range of practices and priorities. (T. ORegan 1992: 418) Similarly, Eagleton remarked that Ëœall criticism is in some sense political, and Ëœthe history of modern literary theory is part of the political and ideological history of our epoch. Such Å“pure literary theory is an academic myth. (Terry Eagleton, 1996) Bennett insists on the need to locate a policy horizon within cultural studies, to study on the relations of culture and power. His idea of cultural studies as a political project refers to research on the distribution and operation of power.

It is the Australian context roused Bennett interest in museum studies, whose public culture is totally governmentalized at the very beginning, the role of cultural studies in policy debates is perhaps livelier and more current in Australia than in Britain, as Bennett mentioned that Ëœthe academy, politics and culture vary a lot from the British society, rather than culture criticism, Australian pays much attention to its relation with colonial history (Bennett 2007: 25), which represents a distinctive characteristics of Australia on the issues of ethical and historical narrative. As a result, Bennett shifted from Gramscian paradigm to Foucaultian paradigm. Foucaults theory on micro-powers and governmentality has an enormous influence on Bennett, and museum is an area where he found the junction. Bennett regards the museum as a culture institution which is related to power operation, to study it from the perspective of cultural studies on the mechanism of museum and politics. Bennetts museum studies reckon on the relations between museum and governance to interpret the content and meaning of pragmatic research on institutional mechanism and politics.

Being a pragmatic scholar, Bennett is frequently involved in cultural policy and mechanism studies. His sociology background has provided him with the tradition of empirical research. The interdisciplinary characteristic of cultural studies has offered him a broaden horizon to conjuncture all kinds of issues into consideration. Tony Bennett joined University of Western Sydney (UWS) as research professor in social and cultural theory at the Centre for Cultural Research in 2009. His previous positions including a period as professor of Sociology at the Open University where he was also a director of the ESRC Centre for Research on socio-cultural change, and professor of cultural studies at Griffith University where he was also dean of Humanities and Director of the ARC Key Centre for Cultural and Media Policy. As director of the ËœAustralian Key Centre for Cultural and Media Policy at Griffith University, Bennett played a significant part in promoting cultural policy as a goal for cultural studies. He is a member of the Australian Academy of the Humanities. He has made him an organic intellectual to form conspire between the intellectual and government, a kind of Å“cultural technicians proposed by During as a description of the political role of intellectuals to change cultural critics into cultural bureaucrats. During remarked that intellectuals working in the cultural field should think of themselves as Å“cultural technicians. (S. During 1999: 484)

From 1980s on, Bennett mainly focuses his research on two areas: the relations between culture and government, and the mechanism of museum and other collecting institutions. Museum studies are closely related to cultural studies, especially to Bennetts focus on cultural policy. The culture institution of museum is operate as a technique of the state apparatus for population governance on moral education and behavior management, it has opened up a space of politic discourse, on the operation of knowledge and power for discipline and surveillance. To understand the start point of Bennetts museum studies has prepared for the understanding the mechanism and the operation of power in museum.