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“We are not science museums but Ke Ji Guan”: A study of Ke Ji Guan in China and their visitors’ identity-related motivations

Chu, Huiping; (2018) “We are not science museums but Ke Ji Guan”: A study of Ke Ji Guan in China and their visitors’ identity-related motivations. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

Research on Ke Ji Guan (one type of Informal Science Institution in China) is very rare, particularly relating to visitors' experiences. In addition to this practical perspective, John H Falk's theoretical framework – "Museum Experience Model" remains applied, tested, and improved in non-American environments. For these reasons I applied it to conduct surveys in Ke Ji Guan to explore who visits Ke Ji Guan, what their motivations are, and whether there are any correlations between visitors' demographics and their identity-related motivations. I employed both quantitative and qualitative approaches within my research. I interviewed three senior Ke Ji Guan experts in China, which resulted in a picture of Ke Ji Guan’s historical development and wider context. Among other conclusions, Ke Ji Guan were identified as an important governmental institution for science and technology popularisation. Quantitatively, I carried out a visitor questionnaire survey (N=1249) in three Ke Ji Guan in Beijing, Shanghai and Shandong. In line with much western Informal Science Institution evidence, the typical portrait of a Ke Ji Guan visitor was female, less than 35 years old, well educated and accompanied by family members. I identified seven visitors’ identity-related motivation categories based on conceptual mapping, they are: Explorers, Facilitators, Experience Seekers, Professional/Hobbyists, Convenience Users, Emotional Connection Seekers, and Pleasure Seekers. Some of them are similar to Falk’s original categories, such as Explorers, Facilitators, Experience Seekers, and Professional/Hobbyists. However, when I conducted an Exploratory Factor Analysis, my data statistically produced another visitor classification scheme: Benefit Seekers, Science-related Fans, Convenience Users, Affirmation Seekers, Opportunists, and Professionals. My results demonstrate that although Chinese visitors share some characteristics with western Informal Science Institution visitors, they also show unique Chinese characteristics. Chinese traditional cultures such as Confucianism do have impacts on visitors' motivations to visit a Ke Ji Guan.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: “We are not science museums but Ke Ji Guan”: A study of Ke Ji Guan in China and their visitors’ identity-related motivations
Event: UCL (University College London)
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences > Dept of Science and Technology Studies
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10045574
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