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October 2021

Cultural policy in Singapore: negotiating economic and socio-cultural agendas

Journal/Book: Geoforum. 2000; 31: the Boulevard Langford Lane, Kidlington, Oxford Ox5 1GB, England. Pergamon-Elsevier Science Ltd. 409-424.

Abstract: In this paper, I examine the role of cultural policy in a newly industrialised economy, which is at the same time a state with a short history and only nascent beginnings in nation-building and efforts to construct a distinctive cultural identity. Using Singapore as the site of analyses, develop an understanding of the intersection between the economic and socio-cultural agendas behind cultural development policies. I illustrate the hegemony of the economic, supported by the ideology and language of pragmatism and globalisation. At the same time, I explore the reception of and attempts to negotiate (and at times, contest) state policies by ''cultural practitioners'' - artists, dancers, playwrights, actors, directors and so forth, illustrating the disjuncture between state policies and practitioners' ideals. This may be cast as a conflict between social and cultural development priorities as envisaged by the practitioners as opposed to economic development priorities as embodied in the state's cultural economic policies.

Note: Article Kong L, Natl Univ Singapore, Dept Geog, 1 Arts Link, Singapore 117570, SINGAPORE

Keyword(s): cultural policy; cultural economy; Singapore; MUSIC


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