The Social Work of Museums

The Social Work of Museums

by Lois H. Silverman
Pub. Date:
Taylor & Francis
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The Social Work of Museums

Museums may not seem at first glance to be engaged in social work. Yet, Lois H. Silverman brings together here relevant visitor studies, trends in international practice, and compelling examples that demonstrate how museums everywhere are using their unique resources to benefit human relationships and, ultimately, to repair the world. In this groundbreaking book, Silverman forges a framework of key social work perspectives to show how museums are evolving a needs-based approach to provide what promises to be universal social service. In partnership with social workers, social agencies, and clients, museums are helping people cope and even thrive in circumstances ranging from personal challenges to social injustices. The Social Work of Museums provides the first integrative survey of this emerging interdisciplinary practice and an essential foundation on which to build for the future.

The Social Work of Museums is not only a vital and visionary resource for museum training and practice in the 21st century, but also an invaluable tool for social workers, creative arts therapists, and students seeking to broaden their horizons. It will inspire and empower policymakers, directors, clinicians, and evaluators alike to work together toward museums for the next age.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780415775212
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Publication date: 01/21/2010
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 208
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.50(d)

Table of Contents

List of illustrations ix

Preface xi

1 In the service of society 1

Scenes of change 2

Only yesterday? A brief history of museums as social service 5

Explaining tomorrow: theories about museums, visitors, and society 14

2 Social work perspectives 23

Relationships of change 23

Social work begins: development of the relationship profession 27

Social work views: insight for museums 30

Taking stock: toward an integrative survey 39

3 From body to soul 41

Understanding the self 41

Health 43

Competence 48

Identity 54

Transcendence 60

4 Solve et coagula 67

Understanding the close pair 67

Companionship 69

Intimacy 73

Interdependence 78

Separation 84

5 Treasures of home 89

Understanding the family 89

Home 91

Cohesion 96

Continuity 101

Flexibility 107

6 Birds in Eight 113

Understanding the group 114

Purpose 115

Cohesiveness 120

Empowerment 124

Linkage 132

7 Toward the next age 139

Elements of change 140

Care for the future 147

Visions of change 154

Bibliography 156

Index 180

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