Articulating the visitor in public knowledge institutions

Krista Lepik, Nico Carpentier

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


This chapter analyses visitor articulations used by managers and key documents of three Estonian public knowledge institutions. Three visitor articulations were identified in the analysed material, namely visitors as the people, as target groups, and as stakeholders, each related in this chapter to a specific body of literature. These articulations are co-existent semantic tools, used by public knowledge institutions to make sense of the complex relationships with people that cross the boundaries protecting the institutions from the outside world(s). They show how Estonian museum and library culture has sought to balance the more traditional educational paradigm with marketing-driven and democratic paradigms. Despite these changes, the chapter also argues that all three articulations have a significant role to play in organising the institutional governance of the visitors, enabling visitors to, and disabling them from, performing specific practices. Although the third visitor articulation (the visitor as stakeholder) holds the promise of a more democratised relationship between visitors and institutions, even in this case, we can still see the logics of governmentality at work.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCommunication and Discourse Theory
Subtitle of host publicationCollected works of the Brussels Discourse Theory Group
EditorsLeen Van Brussel, Benjamin De Cleen, Nico Carpentier
Place of PublicationBristol
PublisherIntellect Publishers
ISBN (Print)9781789380545
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • public knowledge institutions
  • libraries
  • museums
  • library and museum culture
  • stakeholders
  • target groups
  • visitors
  • articulation
  • governmentality


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