The projection of Cambodia, today: an inquiry into representation, fantasmatics and politics via tourism
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AbstractToday, Cambodia has gained entrée into the world via international tourism. The ingression of tourism has also been accompanied by the prowess over the projection of aspects of culture and heritage. The purpose of this emergent, soft-science inquiry into the projection and representation of Cambodia is to sift through aspects of the culture gene bank (after Horne) of the nation to corroborate testimonies associated with the industrially/institutionally-scripted representation via international tourism. The inquiry henceforth gyrates around the projective ―discourse‖ (after Foucault) of peoples, cultures and places. The study is philosophically inspired by ―perspectivism‖ of Nietzsche and ―pluralism‖ of Berlin and Connolly and methodologically actuated by constructivism of Lincoln and Guba. The study of the discursive representation is approached vis-à-vis bricoleurship and cultural/critical pedagogies of Kincheloe and multi-sitedness of Marcus. The study identifies prevailing ramifications of the Angkorean discursivity or Angkorcentrism from constitutionality to ―banality‖ (after Baudrillard) and from public to private agents. The Angkorcentricity is nestled in the mainstream politics of projection of the nation by the state, as attested in the landscaping of public places/spaces, where the state attains its primacy in the projective authority. On the one hand, the finding anent Angkorcentric representation of the nation is generally congruent with that by Winter. On the other, the study accentuates the symbolic/projective prowess of the state in harnessing the selection, production and projection of places and spaces. Another feature which sets this emergent inquiry apart from the others about Cambodia is that it delved into the performative aspects of cultures and identities, particularly in the portrayal and characterisation of ethnicities. Otherisation has been deployed (un)consciously in the performance industry and in the official projection of peoples and places. The nucleus of this inquiry is to fathom the scripting of the dominance, subjugation and silencing in representation of facets of culture gene banks of Cambodia. The dominant aspects of cultures were manifest in the cultural dressing of places and hypostatised in the form of monumental statues, pastiches of sculptures and performances. Facets of the marginalised peoples/cultures were materialised in the projection of otherness via dances, stereotypic utterance and so forth. The museumisation of places testified the discourse of ―phantasmatic Indochina‖ (in Norindr‘s word) in the framing and the normalisation of Cambodia. The study contributes to the existing body of knowledge in tourism studies both conceptually and methodologically. The conceptual contributions are associated with culture gene bank, performativity and normalisation. The methodological contributions are linked with the emergent study and (critical) cultural pedagogy. This emergent, soft-science study of the projective discourse of Cambodia culminated in the Foucauldian normalisation, the Bhabhan fantasmatics and the Edensorian performativity of aspects of the Hornean culture gene bank via tourism. Further studies may crescendo along these aspects (i.e. normalisation, framing, fantasmatic, performativity and so forth) to advance particularistic understanding in the respective areas.
CitationKuon, V. (2014) 'The Projection of Cambodia, today: An Inquiry into Representation, Fantasmatics and Politics via Tourism', PhD thesis. University of Bedfordshire.
PublisherUniversity of Bedfordshire
TypeThesis or dissertation
DescriptionA thesis submitted to the University of Bedfordshire in partial fulfilment of the requirement for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy
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