Project Title

Cross Cultural Perspectives of the Display of Human Remains

Presenters

Academic department under which the project should be listed

RCHSS - Geography & Anthropology

Faculty Sponsor Name

Alice Gooding

Human subjects are not involved.

Abstract (300 words maximum)

Abstract

Cross Cultural Perspectives of the Display of Human Remains

The ethics and laws concerning the display of human remains in museums has been long debated by curators, government officials and academics alike. A cross cultural examination of ethics regarding the display of human remains is vital in understanding a regions cultural values concerning the dead. A linguistic analysis was done using sample collection summaries from museums around the world that assisted in understanding the ways in which museums communicate their collections to the public. A particular social construct was hypothesized to significantly influence legislation regarding the display of human remains. This construct suggests that cultural norms affect the public interest, the public interest affects ethics, and ethics will affect law. In return, laws affect cultural norms and the cycle will continue. This preliminary research will contribute to a larger understanding of how cultures determine ownership of the dead as well as how it is then communicated to a public audience.

Keywords: analysis, human remains, museum, law, cultural norms, ethics, public interest, linguistics, communicate, collection

Project Type

Poster

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Cross Cultural Perspectives of the Display of Human Remains

Abstract

Cross Cultural Perspectives of the Display of Human Remains

The ethics and laws concerning the display of human remains in museums has been long debated by curators, government officials and academics alike. A cross cultural examination of ethics regarding the display of human remains is vital in understanding a regions cultural values concerning the dead. A linguistic analysis was done using sample collection summaries from museums around the world that assisted in understanding the ways in which museums communicate their collections to the public. A particular social construct was hypothesized to significantly influence legislation regarding the display of human remains. This construct suggests that cultural norms affect the public interest, the public interest affects ethics, and ethics will affect law. In return, laws affect cultural norms and the cycle will continue. This preliminary research will contribute to a larger understanding of how cultures determine ownership of the dead as well as how it is then communicated to a public audience.

Keywords: analysis, human remains, museum, law, cultural norms, ethics, public interest, linguistics, communicate, collection