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A museum, the city, and a nation

[Zeitschriftenartikel]

Lepawsky, Joshua

Zitationshinweis

Bitte beziehen Sie sich beim Zitieren dieses Dokumentes immer auf folgenden Persistent Identifier (PID):http://nbn-resolving.de/urn:nbn:de:0168-ssoar-231843

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Abstract The purpose of this article is to understand how a corporate museum in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia works to create proleptic myths of nationhood to under-gird a broader state-centric project of nationalist—capitalist modernization. The article examines how these myths are expressed in the museum's design plans and are manifested in the museum's displays and spatial layout. From this analysis it becomes apparent that, first, the museum's designers intend for Malaysian museum-goers to both learn and embody particular myths of national modernization. Second, the museum's displays are dedicated to establishing a Malay-centric origin narrative for the contemporary nation-state. Third, as one moves through the museum, Malay-centrism gives way to narratives of a `multi-racial' society that link technological modernization with social progress. Eventually, however, `race' is trumped by `class' as the social identity category deemed appropriate for `information age' citizenship and nationhood in Malaysia in a story that parallels broader cultural and political—economic state-centric aspirations to achieve `development'. The deployment of `class' in this context melds strategies of government with selective aspects of neoliberalism that seek to manage the possible cultural and political experiences of nationalist—capitalist accumulation and democratic authoritarianism in contemporary Malaysia. I suggest that while these aspirations expressed through the design of the museum might appear to overcome certain limitations of racial communalisms among different Malaysians, they also dissemble underlying symbolic and material violence that enforces a state-centric stability on the possible meanings of citizenship and national identity in contemporary Malaysia.
Thesaurusschlagwörter Malaysia; museum
Freie Schlagwörter Identity formation; modernization; myth;
Sprache Dokument Englisch
Publikationsjahr 2008
Seitenangabe S. 119-142
Zeitschriftentitel Cultural Geographies, 15 (2008) 1
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1474474007085781
Status Postprint; begutachtet (peer reviewed)
Lizenz PEER Licence Agreement (applicable only to documents from PEER project)
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