Date of Submission
Open Access Senior Thesis
Bachelor of Arts
© 2023 Fangzhangyi Chen
Museums are places where people come to make sense of their and others’ social experiences related to social identities. However, what if museums present a distorted picture containing prejudicial stereotypes that harm socially marginalized groups? In this thesis, I argue that museums are oppressive spaces that reinforce hermeneutical injustice as distorted hermeneutical resources shaped by the socially powerful to sustain the asymmetrical social dynamics at large. The primary objective of the thesis is to contribute to the existing literature of museums being oppressive spaces by offering a novel explanation utilizing Miranda Fricker’s framework of hermeneutical injustice. Hermeneutical injustice arises when one’s social experiences are obscured from the collective understanding as the hermeneutical resources contain structural identity prejudices owing to the asymmetrical social power dynamics at large. As a hermeneutical resource, a museum reinforces and sustains hermeneutical injustice, which ultimately contributes to social injustice more broadly.
Chen, Fangzhangyi, "Shaping Knowledge with Distortions: Museums as Oppressive Spaces and Hermeneutical Injustice" (2023). CMC Senior Theses. 3343.