Visitors and alignment: actor-network theory and the ontology of informal science institutions
Museum Management and Curatorship
Actor-network theory, informal science institutions, ontology, visitor knowledge, visitor studies, zoos
© 2016 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. As informal science institutions (ISIs) play a larger role in science education, there is an increased need to research and understand how society identifies the brand of each institution. In this study, I apply actor-network theory (ANT) as a way to view the actors within and outside an ISI and define visitors’ understandings about the institution. The practice of applying ANT explores the webs of the social and natural worlds and describes the relationships that occur. For the purpose of this paper, a zoo served as the example institution. Even though the example in this study is a zoo, the conclusions and discussion focus on how ANT may be used in a similar way across museums to define visitor knowledge of the institution. ANT may be applied by any institution to define its self-identity and tell the story of how the institution is viewed by visitors.
Patrick, Patricia G., "Visitors and alignment: actor-network theory and the ontology of informal science institutions" (2017). Faculty Bibliography. 2944.