Lacan on urban development and national identity in a global city: Integrated Resorts in Singapore


Journal Article

Lacanian psychoanalysis has been used in film, literature and other areas of social thought, but rarely in the domain of urban studies and human/cultural geography. Following its introduction by urban planners Michael Gunder and Jean Hillier, I apply the theory of the four discourses and the mirror stage of development to Singapore's urban development of the two Integrated Resorts at Marina Bay and Sentosa. The decision to allow gambling and build casinos was a contentious one and provides a point of departure for insight into the identity issues and planning decision making processes in Singapore. I critically analyse the rhetoric of the public debate from 2004-2005 to draw conclusions about the government's self-perception of Singapore as a city-state and the manifestation of this identity through the creation of cosmopolitan spaces as an attempt to project that identity onto its citizens. The aim of Lacanian psychoanalysis is to provide an understanding and recognition by analysis to enable a change of signifiers, values and ideology among the masters and the subjects to better represent the true needs and wants of the community. This reflective position enables a movement toward postcolonial urban studies and planning. © 2014 The Author. Singapore Journal of Tropical Geography © 2014 Department of Geography, National University of Singapore and Wiley Publishing Asia Pty Ltd.

Full Text

Cited Authors

  • Bullock, NF

Published Date

  • January 1, 2014

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 35 / 2

Start / End Page

  • 213 - 227

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1467-9493

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0129-7619

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1111/sjtg.12062

Citation Source

  • Scopus