Education and social engineering: Museums in Singapore

Can-Seng Ooi, lektor, PhD, Institut for international økonomi og virksomhedsledelse, CBS
Oplæg til Medborgerskab, Internationalt formidlingsseminar 2012,
26.3.2012, kl. 16.15 – 16.45

Museums play different roles in society. One of them is education. Museums in Singapore are no different. This presentation looks at three state-supported museums: Singapore Art Museum (SAM), National Museum of Singapore (NMS) and Asian Civilisations Museum (ACM). SAM showcases modern art from Singapore and Southeast Asia, NMS is the country’s social historical museum, while ACM highlights the ancestral roots of the multicultural population of Singapore.

The presentation will situate the societal roles of the museums in the social political context of Singapore. The rights and responsibilities associated to citizenship differ across countries. Singapore citizenship is relatively new, since the country was founded only in 1965. The government has created a history for Singaporeans. While this version of history is now being challenged by alternative versions, the museums are not actively involved in the debate. So in sum, I will discuss the concept of Singaporean citizenship and how the museums contribute to the social engineering machinery.

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