1st Edition

Museums, Identity and Family Practices

By Theano Moussouri Copyright 2025
    256 Pages 3 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Museums, Identity and Family Practices locates museum participation and meaning making in the realm of everyday family practices, which are central to the understanding the role museums play in family social life.

    Drawing on a substantial amount of data from a wide range of sources, Moussouri discusses the importance of understanding how family practices are enacted across settings and how the arena of the museum can facilitate certain family practices and impede others. Developing  and theorising key concepts the book elucidates the key research themes, including everyday family practice; meaning making; and the structural characteristics of museums as arenas for the family visit activity. The analysis is rooted in a dialectical theoretical framework specifically developed to bridge the macrolevel (social order or the arena of the museum) and microlevel (family practices).

    Museums, Identity and Family Practices offers a novel and holistic approach to studying contemporary families and, as such, is key reading for scholars and students of museum and heritage studies, family studies, visitor studies, cultural studies, education, sociology and anthropology. Museum and heritage professionals working with families in different communities around the world will also find this book relevant to their practice.

    1. Framing the family-museum relation; Part I - Locating family practices vis-a-vis the museum; 2. Situating family social practice; 3. Conceptualising and studying families across contexts; Part II Values shaping family museum participation; 4. The museum as list and the family list; 5. Expectations and visit paths; Part III – Family practices across time and space; 6. Family practices at the museum; 7. At home with the family; 8. The family in the social arena of the museum; 9. Inside-out and outside-in: transforming the family-museums relation


    Theano Moussouri is Professor of Museum Studies at UCL Institute of Archaeology. Previously, she worked at the University of Leicester in the UK and the University of Athens and the University of Thessaly in Greece. In the past, she was Audience Researcher at the Audience Research Unit of the Science Museum and served as Director of Audience Focus Inc.