Strategic Research Plan 2020-25 - Sociomuseology

1. Introduction

The Strategic Research Plan for the area of Sociomuseology within the CeiED evince both the research needs and the possibilities to reach the goals to be set, being aware that research drives innovation and development, enhance training skills and provide expertise for providing services to the community.

2. Vision Statement

To promote research in Sociomuseology, by means of the relations established  and to be established with the international scientific community.

To train and support, both scientifically and materially, young researchers, namely those preparing  master and doctorate theses.

To spread scientific culture through the publication of the  obtained results in books, in accredited national and foreign journals and in different formats of meetings, conferences and public debates, using the adequate technical resources of information, communication and dissemination.

To work with a clear understanding that Sociomuseology covered a widespread field of research and practices

This option results from the work developed in the last 20 year in the previous Department of Museology  promoting  conceptual discussion, pos graduate training programs, external services, international cooperation and multifaceted dissemination activities.

At present time, with this roots our main goal is to conduct research in order to be a place where the reflection of Sociomuseological’ theories and practices, in their broad senses, take place and make possible to act as a generator of knowledge and of tools and solutions tailored to the issues of heritage and museology mainly in Portugal and the lusophone countries.

Faculty and Students at all levels, will participate routinely in strategically conceived and designed research and scholarly initiatives that contribute significantly to a sustainable management of territory, bringing benefits to the societies, increasing the economies viability and preservation and valorisation of culture and heritage.

We gather a clear scientific cut, with human and qualified resources, adequate technological means and with a flexible structure.

3. Research Areas Framework

Sociomuseological research is committed to critical issues of particular relevance to the sustainability of museums and other  cultural institutions dealing with heritage in a broader sense. To offers guiding principles and better coordinate the research efforts six research areas are recognised which encompass the broadest range of contemporary issues, museum and museology is faced with.

The research areas are:

  • Sociomuseology, Heritage and Cultural Development
  • Sociomuseology, Human Rights and Globalization
  • Museology and Education
  • Museology, Expography and Technology
  • Museums and Service Sciences
  • Museums, Territory, Architecture and Design

Main topics for each of the six research areas.
Although in the transversality and linkages within the areas, integrated approaches and the cross-cutting themes should obtain priority.

3.1. Sociomuseology, Heritage and Development

After a time when museological institutions were regarded only as a place of contemplation and cultural enrichment of individuals, the emphasis is centred on the enormous potential they contain as instruments of development in particular at local and regional level.

This research area deal with museologic theory, in a broad sense and its relations with other areas of knowledge.

This area aims to analyze the development issues in their relationship with the local and regional socio-economic contexts as well as the deepening of theoretical and methodological knowledge required for the analysis of different development contexts (economy, society, culture ...) and different scales (national, regional and local) and different typologies such as: Archeology, Anthropology, Sociology and Arts

This research area aims to promote the study and the construction of public policies that affect, directly or indirectly, the cultural and heritage sector of society dealing with local identities, minorities and cross-border societies.

3.2. Sociomuseology, Human Rights and Globalization

Globalisation determines the action of museological institutions all over the world. The emergence of new currents of thought such as Altermuseology provides new challenges for museums.

The understanding of the new roles of museums depends on such large socio-cultural categories as the concepts of identity, diversity, biodiversity, gender and multiculturalism. In this sense, new approaches have been treated by museology, taking into account new concepts of cultural heritage, tangible and intangible heritage, social memory in its diachronic and synchronic perspectives, as well as problems involving memories and forgetfulness, power and resistance.

The action of museums is increasingly confronted with questions relating to human rights both in time of peace and in the context of wars and social conflicts. How can museums operate in contexts of poverty, natural disasters and conflicts?

This area of research includes also the issues of ethics in the definition of museological action and the limits of that action.

3.3. Museology and Education

This research area aims to reflect on the role of educational action, its relations with the different cultural backgrounds having as reference the construction of knowledge in the fields of Museology and Pedagogy. This research area aims to discuss and analyze the educational, dimension of the Museum and the strategies and methodologies used in different contexts; to analyze and discuss the concepts of cultural and educational action, within the framework of the analysis and discussion of multiculturalism and social hybridism; to analyze aspects related to the management of the museums and their interfaces with cultural and educational action;

3.4. Museology, Expography and Technologies

The Museum must continually build new ways to capture the attention of visitors and meet their expectations and specific needs. The relationship between museology and computing has come to occupy an increasingly important place in particular in the field of expography. This research area aims to reflect about this relationship, seeking to clarify its limits and combinations?. New technologies as communications resources. The Museum's responsibilities as a user of these technologies and its role as a factor in the development and/or innovation of new technologies. In this exploratory and experimental context a laboratory of Museology (LEME) was created, which aims to support and implement practical solutions in order to explore technologies that work either as independent installations or as a resources for exhibit interpretation. The museum based on the notion of information, generator of dynamics and interactivities. This research line also deals with new technologies and the use of social networks as resources for communication and participation.


3.5. Museums and Service Sciences

Museums need to understand the meaning of the approach that will be able to recognise, support and sustain them as service providers, in the same way that specialists in services need to receive a request from museums to reflect explicitly on the specificities of these institutions which, in many ways, are socially and economically central in the contemporary world. In this sense, Museums need to involve knowledge from the areas of innovation, marketing, design and new information and communication technologies. These areas of knowledge endow museums with factors that aim to improve the quality of their relation with their publics and/or users.

Museums are currently a constructive element of cultural activity in every country, they hold a central place in identity, culture, leisure and education. They are at the heart of cultural public policies and the activity of companies which supply museums with services, equipment and software in the growing economy of the information and communication technologies. Whether they are traditional museums, which preserve and exhibit their collections for multiple purposes, including those of education and leisure, or whether they are museums conceptually sustained on Sociomuseology and therefore anchored in such concepts as development, territory, participation and social inclusion, in both cases they can be understood as organizations that are expected to provide services, that live up to the expectations of their publics/users/consumers.

3.6. Museums, Engineering, Architecture, Territory, and Design

This research area aims to foster studies about the museological infrastructures, in terms of design, management and integration in urban spaces and sustainability. The architecture in its articulation with the Museum programming. The Museum and sustainability: environment and energy. Architecture as communication scenarios. New construction technologies, new computational resources and domotics. Museological spaces and different scales of project: Building, exhibitions, furniture, design, city, territory.