Contentious subject matter is often avoided in conversation. Additionally, there are not many places in which open discussion on these topics is considered acceptable, but the country needs them. In this thesis, I discuss third places as places of gathering for various individuals and the integration of everyday political talk, natural civic discussion (Oldenburg, 1999; Kim & Kim, 2008). The data analyzed in this study consists of ten transcripts from ten interviews conducted over zoom. The result of the analysis shows that art museums do foster everyday political talk through the elements of visualization, facilitation and the environment. Visualization consists of the visual nature of art within museums breaking down themes and framing discussion about important subject matter to make it less intimidating and accessible to more people. Facilitation can be summarized as art museum staff leading guided discussion, creating educational events and curating different exhibits in order to further explore the messages in the art and help audiences reflect. The final theme, the environment of the museum, means that art museums have a welcoming atmosphere, attend to current events and create opportunities for conversation by making physical changes to the space. This investigation works to fill the gaps of knowledge that separate third places, everyday political talk and the quality of conversation within art museums.
"Art Spaces as Third Places for Everyday Political Talk,"
Comm-entary: Vol. 17:
1, Article 4.
Available at: https://scholars.unh.edu/comm-entary/vol17/iss1/4