This article provides evidence of how different art museum visitation groups (high, middle, and low attendance levels) draw symbolic boundaries in order to distinguish themselves from others and develop a sense of group membership. In-depth, semi-structured interviews revealed that interviewees in the high visitation level mainly distinguished themselves from other visitors rather than from non-visitors. On the other hand, interviewees in the low visitation level distinguished themselves from non-visitors, while those in the middle level adopted an intermediate position by distinguishing themselves from both non-visitors and visitors. This process of exclusion and inclusion seems to define the interviewees’ self-identity and to influence their visitation decisions. Even though this study focuses on cultural boundaries, evidence of moral and socio-economic boundaries is also apparent.
|Keywords:||Art Museum Visitation, Symbolic Boundaries, Museum Audiences, Identity, Distinction and Belonging|
Lecturer, Department of Applied Arts and Communication, Cyprus University of Technology, Nicosia, Cyprus
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