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Title: Reconstructing socio-cultural identity :Malay culture and architecture in Pekanbaru, Indonesia
Authors: Firzal, Yohannes
Issue Date: 2015
Publisher: Newcastle University
Abstract: Identity can be changed and reconstructed. Thus, it is seen as capable of supporting dynamic changes in real life through the transformation of practices and the articulation of social relations. This study examines how the reconstruction of identity of place is affected by culture and cultural production, and is an unfixed, unfinished and varying process that affects both the place and society. Particularly concomitant with shifts of power, the reconstruction attempts to impose one group’s values over those of other groups in cultural life and social transformation. Despite forming only one‐fifth of the population of the Indonesian city of Pekanbaru, Malay people have emerged as a group who have held important positions in both local government and urban society since 2000. This makes Pekanbaru city an intriguing research case. After more than a decade, the implementation of the group’s has led to visible changes in the city. This can be seen in the use of Malay architectural motifs on buildings, and the introduction of ‘new’ traditions to establish the madani city, which develops physically, socially and in the spirit of Malayness. By using a qualitative approach, this study investigates the influence of Malay culture in Pekanbaru city. The field data can be grouped into three types: physical evidence, people’s interpretations, and archive data collected using a range of methods such as observation, semi‐structured interviews, testimonies, and group discussions. The data are analysed and interpreted within an iterative process to expand understanding of the processes of reconstructing identity. Thus, this study affirms a wide range of thought about connections between the culture and identity of place which is identified through architecture and sociocultural change in urban society. In turn, this study offers particular insights into how identity on the margins becomes an exclusive set of collective identities.
Description: PhD Thesis
Appears in Collections:School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape

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