What are your thoughts?

The politics of universalism (equal dignity) and the politics of difference (identity) –

The politics of universalism are based on the idea that whatever is established is meant to be universally the same for all citizens, the objective being that all citizens and all perspectives should be mainstreamed into society and its institutions – including museums.

The politics of difference, as an alternative, recognises the unique identity of any individual or group and their distinctness from everyone else. It is argued that the distinctness is automatically ignored or assimilated to a dominant majority identity unless there are strong politics to support particularity and alternative identities. The politics of difference can be identified in special museums for subgroups, such as Jewish museums, women’s museums, museums for the visually impaired, or in special efforts made to increase representation of a certain group or perspective. Although these notions are quite different, both of them are based on recognition and equal respect for groups and individuals in scoiety.

The Museum of World Culture: a ‘glocal’ museum of a new kind by Cajsa Lagerkvist

With this in mind do you feel it would be better to have a museum and/or displays that talk solely about Fairground culture or do you think it should be more assimilated in the way we think about Scottish society as a whole or both? In other words, which do you prefer – politics of universalism or difference?

One comment

  1. I think a balance of both is good.

    I’m not a Showperson, but relating to my own experience as a female in the arts – I would always prefer to be represented as ‘an artist’ rather than ‘a woman artist’ (universalism). However some of my favourite books are celebrations of women artists and movements who were for some time lost in art history (difference).

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