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Building Collective Emotional Resilience for Antiracism in Museums

Todd, Katie "KT" (2022) Building Collective Emotional Resilience for Antiracism in Museums. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Museums are increasingly recognizing the need to confront racial inequities, but efforts to promote antiracism can be emotionally painful, leading to burnout and limiting the potential for change. This dissertation addressed this challenge, drawing on improvement science and transformational mixed-methods research to both investigate the emotionality of antiracism in museums and work to change it in ways that foster staff wellness and organizational progress towards racial justice. The project was grounded in the theory of emotional labor as a feature of racialized organizations and worked to test a theory of practical improvement rooted in perspectives of institutionalization, positing that developing new, more equitable norms and routines of emotional labor around antiracism could increase motivation for and progress towards antiracism in museums. To test this premise, I iteratively developed and refined a two-part workshop series that I led with groups of professionals from three museums across the United States. During the workshops, groups assessed the racial equity of their work; developed an antiracist action plan for improvement; reflected on the emotional labor of developing and implementing the action plan with their colleagues; and engaged in participatory focus group activities during which the groups articulated desired changes to their emotional norms and developed routines that could institutionalize the new norms in their practice. Results from observation, artifacts from the workshop activities, and surveys instantiated the potency of emotional labor for racism, particularly among Black and Brown women and demonstrated that teams can take active steps towards developing new norms and routines that could enhance collective emotional resilience for antiracism.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Todd, Katie "KT"kst25@pitt.edukst250000-0002-5973-3298
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairCrowley, Kevincrowleyk@pitt.educrowleyk0000-0002-6798-9189
Committee MemberAnderson, Eleanoreand@pitt.edueand0000-0003-2824-4675
Committee MemberGaribay,
Date: 6 September 2022
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 6 July 2022
Approval Date: 6 September 2022
Submission Date: 11 August 2022
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 167
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Education > Learning Sciences and Policy
Degree: EdD - Doctor of Education
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: museum, antiracism, emotion, emotional labor, race
Date Deposited: 06 Sep 2022 14:29
Last Modified: 06 Sep 2022 14:29


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