Penal Spectatorship at Three Police Museums in Ontario

Title: Penal Spectatorship at Three Police Museums in Ontario
Authors: Ferguson, Matthew
Date: 2016
Abstract: This thesis examines a widespread yet understudied tourism destination in Canada – the police museum. I visited and collected data at three police museums in the province of Ontario, Canada: the Toronto Police Museum and Discovery Centre in Toronto, the OPP Museum in Orillia, and the RCMP Musical Ride Centre in Ottawa. Engaging with Brown’s (2009) theory of “penal spectatorship”, I investigate how these sites (re)produce and circulate meanings about penality through their different representational practices. I identify three dominant themes and argue that the police museums foster social distance between visitors and those in conflict with the law. By sharing these findings, and along the way reconceptualizing the definition of police museum, identifying fifty-nine police museums in Canada, and presenting a Canadian police museum typology, this thesis lays some groundwork for expanding the horizons of penal spectatorship theory and penal tourism scholarship to the realm of policing.
CollectionThèses, 2011 - // Theses, 2011 -