Representation And Construction Of Cultural Identity Cultural Studies Essay

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In resent years the portrayal of popular culture, the ordinary, the everyday in museums has challenged the role of museums as temples of high culture (Moore 1997). Sports, which play important parts of everyday life all over the world (Coakley 2007), are increasingly represented in museums. By treating sports and museums as culture elements, researchers of different disciplines are aware of the underlying cultural identity in sports studies (Sugden and Tomlinson ed. 2002, Maguire 1999, Coakley 200) as well as museum studies (Moore 1997, Sherman and Rogoff ed. 1994, Macdonald and Fyfe ed. 1996, Karp and Lavine ed. 1991). Therefore, the sports museums, interfacing with them, inevitably face with the issue of cultural identity.

The discussion would mainly based on Hall's (1997) theoretical framework of cultural representation, signifying practice and cultural identity (2003), together with Anderson's (2006)concepts of imagined communities and nationalism and Elias' (1987) studies on personal pronouns relating to identification. The way of thinking cultural identity as a constituted "production" (Hall 2003:234)will be used to guide the observations and discussions in football museums in terms of both "exhibited culture" and "exhibition culture"( Sherman and Rogoff 1994:ix).

As to the Previous Studies, on the one hand, there are several publications, journal articles in particular, present the sports museums including football museums mostly about a certain country (Pahud , Vamplew 1992, Voolaid and Mainla , Norden 2001, Wooten et al.) and have an North America/European focus. . However, only a handful of them have developed the issue of cultural identities (Chandler 2007, Kellett and Hede 2008, Moore 1997). On the other hand, in the field of museum studies, the issue is relatively deeply analysed about art or archeology museums (Takaragawa 2002, Soudien 2008, Seagraves 2009, Enensor 2006, Bessire 1997, Selmeczi , McKenzie). Overall, cultural identity in the field of football/sports museums is not well discussed.

I will use the framework of cultural representation and cultural identity to conduct research in football museums in England (which is the birth place of modern football and the bidding country of 2018 FIFA World Cup with one of the most famous football leagues), Scotland (where the "Preserving and Promoting Scotland's Football Heritage" and "The Scottish Football Reminiscence" Projects are taking place ), Germany (which was the host of 2006 FIFA World Cup and will be the host of 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup), China (the original place of ancient football and has a massive crowd of football fans nowadays), Japan and Korea(co-host countries of 2002 FIFA World Cup, Asia's first one). The football museums planned to visit can be found in Appendix.

Depending on literature review of the history of football and football museums worldwide, the selected countries in particular, I will arrange to visit several football museums (hopefully some football exhibitions beyond certain football museums during some football events as well) and conduct short-term fieldwork. The anthropological approach will employ observations about the artifacts and activities within football museums as well as semi-structured interviews with both museum staff and visitors. And in order to investigate the spectators cognitive and emotional reactions, I will get access to the comments books (both hardcopy and online edition) and souvenir shops to carry out some research. Finally, the research would offer a overview of how do football museums delimit and project cultural identity a) of multilayered (city, region, nation, country, continent) communities b) in the integrated mutual museum practice of curators and visitors and c) with a cross cultural scope.

Contribution and Potential

The marriage of football and museum is putting the issue of cultural identity into question. However, the literature and studies on this topic are sparse. This research will fill the gap and strengthen the study of the relation between cultural identity and museum culture. Meanwhile, because the respect and tolerance of other cultures is also involved in the issue of cultural identity, the research will provide a linkage of the exchange and transmission of football/sport culture between Asia and Europe in the global sport flows. Through the research, we will get a better understanding of the indigenous knowledge about sports, the material and intangible aspects of sports heritage, and the interpretation of popular culture in museums.

Due to the limitations of language, time and money, I could not investigate the football museums all over the world, especially the Museu do Futebol (Football Museum) in Brazil. One of my ultimate goal is to develop the research of culture issues in football/sports museums in a broader context of globalization and multiculturalism with other researchers or/and with the help of some associations, namely ISHA(International Sport Heritage Association).

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