Date of Award

8-1-2012

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Department

Anthropology

First Advisor

Sutton, David

Second Advisor

Bachman, Dona

Abstract

This work focuses on the use of anthropological and museum theory, methods and practices in the development and construction of a museum. It also illustrates how museums can be used as active research sites for anthropologists. This dissertation uses the Hotel Metropolitan Museum, a new African American museum in Paducah, Kentucky, as an example to demonstrate this research process. I approach this work as a museum professional and academic making a living outside the safety of the "Ivory Tower." I examine how the use of anthropological theories, case studies and methods can be used to help independent consultants understand interpersonal interaction/communication, community development and political structure. Also, I examine how these theories and methods can be applied and/or modified to construct situations that result in outcomes beneficial to the consultant and to the group for which s/he is working.

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