Friday, September 10, 2010

Finding An Identity

John Faulk states that the focus of Americans is drifting away from the workplace and is heading towards leisure, “from striving for survival to searching for personal fulfillment and satisfaction” (page 44). In his book Identity and the Museum Visitor Experience he describes leisure becoming more centered upon a quest for something larger and something more fulfilling, a quest for identity. Individuals are seeking to build their knowledge and finding his or her personal or group identity.

As a child and teen growing up in a small country town, living in a rural community there was never many museums, zoos, or amusement parks nearby. But, when we did make a 2-4 hour drive to spend a day or a weekend at a museum, zoo, or amusement park it was one of the one things we remember about that year. After spending a day in Pittsburgh at Carnegie Museum or Columbus Zoo I would always run home to tell my family, friends, and everyone about the things I saw and learned that day. It was like that wherever I went, I would always wanted to share my experience, i would show everybody the photos I took and the stories behind the image.

Living on a farm, my family and I never got that much leisure time but when we did it was always spectacular. Just the idea that we schedule the time to be together, to learn together, and experience new things together is what always made it the most memorable. We created a family identity that way but at the same time we also created our own personal identity. Probably because of those few but yet special memorable experiences at museums, zoos, and amusement parks is maybe one of the main reasons why I decided to be a museum studies major.

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