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Video-based Methods. A distinctive approach to the analysis of visitor behaviour in museums and galleries. These methods centre on audio-visual recordings of naturalistic visitor conduct

We have developed a distinctive approach to the analysis of visitor conduct and communication in museums and galleries. Whilst many approaches in museum studies use questionnaires, interviews or field observations, this approach draws on the use of audio-visual recordings to develop naturalistic analyses of action and interaction.

The approach is informed by ethnomethodology and conversation analysis and progresses through the fine-grained analysis of sequences of social interaction. It takes into account not only the talk of visitors, but the relationship between talk and embodied conduct. It is distinctive in that unlike other approaches it considers the detailed analysis of action and interaction at the exhibit-face.

The methods have been disseminated via talks and workshops with museum professionals as well as through academic journal publications. Published descriptions of the approach include:

vom Lehn, D., Heath, C. and J. Hindmarsh (2002) Video-based field studies in museums and galleries. Visitor Studies Today!, 5, 3, pp. 15-23.

Heath, C. and J. Hindmarsh (2002) Analysing Interaction: Video, ethnography and situated conduct. In May, T. (ed.) Qualitative Research in Action. London: Sage. pp. 99-121.

Reported by

King's College London
The Management Centre, King's College London
SE1 9NN London
United Kingdom