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Cultures of DecolonisationTransnational productions and practices, 1945-70$
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Ruth Craggs and Claire Wintle

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780719096525

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719096525.001.0001

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What colonial legacy?

What colonial legacy?

The Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka (House of Language) and Malaysia’s cultural decolonization

(p.245) Chapter Eleven What colonial legacy?
Cultures of Decolonisation

Rachel Leow

Manchester University Press

This essay argues that an examination of the cultural effects of decolonisation can yield a clearer appreciation of the combined role of both coloniser and colonised in the making of the postcolonial order. Taking an approach informed by Michel Foucault, Jean-François Bayart and Romain Bertrand, it shows that the ethnic tensions which erupted over questions of national language planning, multilingualism, and culture in postcolonial Malaya, and persist through to the present, cannot be explained away as a simple “colonial legacy” inflicted by British divide-and-rule policies. They must also be recognised as the result of a particular hegemonic configuration, produced and maintained through the agency of postcolonial subjects themselves.

Keywords:   Language planning, National language, Colonial legacy, Malaya/Malaysia, Multilingualism, Ethnicity, Agency, Decolonisation

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