Museums are respected institutions that exist virtually everywhere, where people can go to learn about art, history, science, and a number of other topics. Recently, creation museums have gained popularity, further fueling the “evolution versus creation” debate in the United States. While there is some anthropological research on natural history and creation museums, few compare the two. This research examines the ways in which exhibitors at a natural history museum in northeast Ohio and a creation museum in northern Kentucky understand human origins, and how they subsequently display these interpretations to the public. I conducted three interviews at both museums as well as an in-depth content analysis of all labels pertaining to human origins and modern humans. This research also draws on Pierre Bourdieu’s theory of capital in relation to visitors’ and exhibitor’s experiences at museums. Although their views are drastically different, I found several themes shared between both museums which reflect their respective interpretations and display techniques.


Frese, Pamela


Sociology and Anthropology


Anthropology | Education | Other Anthropology | Science and Mathematics Education


museum, anthropology, museum anthropology, creationism, creation museum, natural history museum, Pierre Bourdieu

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



© Copyright 2015 Karina E. Shvets