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Cultural Activity of Museum Audience: the Role of Cultural Capital and Motivation
Ushkarev Alexander Anatol'evich

PhD in Art History

senior researcher at State Institute for Art Studies

125009, Russia, g. Moscow, per. Kozitskii, 5
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The subject of the research is the peculiarities and patterns of consumer behavior of the State Tretyakov Gallery audience, available cultural activities, and the author's attempt to define and measure their determinants. The growing interest towards audience preferences on the cultural activities market creates the need for cultural institutions to analyze the audience needs and modify the functional and format of the main activity in accordance with contemporary trends and demands. Museum specialists have come to understanding that without taking into account the needs of the audience, it is impossible to overcome the communication barriers between museum and audience. Sometimes museum specialists try to classify and manage their audience the same way as they classify and manage their exhibit items. On the other hand, they continue their traditional attempts to analyze the audience based on personal traits that are attributable to their visitors a priori. Today this is perceived as a rather limited approach that hinders from the actual understanding of true patterns of consumer behavior. Based on the author of the article, application of methods of mathematical statistics and econometrics to analyze sociological data expands opportunities for the sociology of art and signifies a shift to a fundamentally new level of research validity. In his article Ushkarev presents several new theoretical results of a grand-scale survey that involved the audience of the State Tretyakov Gallery. As part of his research, Ushkarev studies the museum audience based on conceptual features that go far beyond the borders of traditional socio-demographic descriptions but not only on objective parameters that are traditionally described by art sociologists. The interdisciplinary approach used by Ushkarev in his research has allowed to define cultural activities of the art museum audience and the impact of subjective and unmeasurable dimensions of the audience such as motivation and cultural capital. 

Keywords: types of museum audience, determinants of cultural consumption, sociology of art, econometric analysis, attendance, motivation, cultural capital,, consumer behavior, cultural activity, museum audience



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