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While museums are usually politically weak in terms of exercising effective power outside their own doors, their ideological and legitimating roles and functions provide a degree of political meaning for societies that operates at a different level, and in a different way, from the results that are generated from the direct and indirect exercise of political power, and it is in these ideological and legitimating activities that the real political significance of museums is to be found.


I can’t understand the underlined part. Could you explain that to me? What that means?!

Sentence structure is so complicated.

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The main points of the latter part of that sentence are:

  • The roles and functions of museums provide some political meaning for societies.
  • This political meaning operates differently from the political meaning that is generated by exercise of political power.
  • The real political significance of museums is to be found in these ideological and legitimating activities.

Does that help?