‘Public Outreach’: a Transactional Analysis approach

John Carman

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    At the heart of engagements with their publics by heritage professionals are series of exchanges or transactions: the professional offers access to the heritage which is then accepted or refused. As transactions these procedures are amenable to analysis in those terms, and the approach offered by Transactional Analysis – a method developed from psychotherapy but since more broadly applied – is relevant to do so. Transactional Analysis recognises different kinds of transactions between people, some ‘straight’ or honest, others ‘ulterior’ or dishonest. In particular it recognises and analyses the form of ulterior transaction called a ‘game’ which has particular characteristics, including an identifiable series of ‘moves’, a ‘con’, and final ‘payoffs’. This paper examines the processes of public outreach in the field of heritage and identifies the qualities of a game in them. It goes on to outline the structure of this transactional game and what it means for heritage practice.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalPublic Archaeology
    Publication statusSubmitted - 2018


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