The present paper aims to present significant results stemming from the FACS (Full Access to Cultural Spaces) project, launched in 2014 by the University of Macerata and concluded in 2016. In particular, this paper reports on stages one and two of the FACS project which aimed first to explore the state of the art of universal access services across a large variety of museums in Italy and nine other EU countries. Based on the first stage, an analysis of some of the most significant data obtained from a questionnaire sent out to over 1,200 European museums will be presented, with a special focus on multilingual devices and access services for the sensory impaired. The first stage was followed by an eye-tracking study on an Italian museum, Turin’s Museo Nazionale del Cinema (National Cinema Museum), aimed at evaluating visitors’ experience, attitudes and patterns of fruition through a test with a portable eye tracker (Tobii Pro Glasses 2, 50 Hz). Based on this second stage, the fruition of information panels by museum visitors at the Museo Nazionale del Cinema will be explored, specifically focusing on reading patterns and behaviours.
The coexistence of different cultures in specific pluralistic settings not only has positive but also negative impacts. Besides exchanging cultural contents within a multicultural environment, societies use humour as a form of social interaction, which reinforces cultural interrelationships as well as ethnical differences. However, humour differs from culture to culture and from individual to individual. On the one hand, it develops social cohesion, fosters positive relations and increases the self-identification of the individual in relation to other ethnic groups, but on the other hand, it functions as an acceptable and tolerated form of aggression in a particular society. The bipolar character of humour stems from its status and functions. It serves both as a social unifier and a social separator. The most common paradigms of humour in social discourse are ethnic jokes or cartoons that are often built on fixed ethnic/racial stereotypes leading to social categorization but also to fast and correct decoding of semantic information by an audience. Ethnic jokes are social thermometers, recording and measuring the level of sensitivity towards specific cultural groups. The main aim of this paper is to introduce ethnic humour and its key functions in the context of ongoing cultural interactions and changes.