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Authors: Woon Wei Seng
Keywords: landscape, nation-building, national identity, mixed-methods, Singapore, Changi Airport
Issue Date: 2015
Citation: Woon Wei Seng (2015). CHANGI AIRPORT AS LANDSCAPE FOR NATION-BUILDING. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: With Changi Airport’s long-running success, construction of upcoming Project Jewel and Singapore’s upcoming SG50 celebrations in 2015 as backdrop, this thesis explores Changi as landscape contributing to nation-building. Drawing on a mixedmethods approach, this thesis unpacks how the state mobilises Changi to symbolise or develop national identity amongst Singaporeans, through interwoven material, symbolic and discursive constructions of the nation in the landscape. Subsequently, this thesis proposes three kinds of reactions from Singaporeans consuming this landscape: acceptance of the state’s top-down impositions; indifference or resistance towards these impositions; and bottom-up nation-building developing organically through personal experiences, that arise in ways unintended or unmanaged by the state but without necessarily challenging the state’s nation-building intentions. This thesis studies the landscape’s multiple representations and unravels through Changi the ‘where’ and ‘how’ of nation-building, arguing for the importance of both top-down and bottom-up approaches to nation-building and the possibilities for both the iconic and the mundane in fostering the nation. This thesis also positions itself to address certain lacunae in the ‘airports’ literature, particularly the tendency for scholarship to privilege travellers over non-travellers, and to demonstrate how a highly-mobile, globalised space like the airport can serve nation-building purposes.
Appears in Collections:Bachelor's Theses

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