Cultural change and identity shift in relation to cultural policy in post war Taiwan, with particular reference to theatre
The issue of identity has become increasingly important in the 21't century. Facing the dilemma of being tom between globalisation and indigenisation, our sense of identity is constantly changing and in turmoil. This dissertation engages with several questions: How does our sense of belonging come about? In what ways and to what extent can the state construct culture, regulate our behaviour, and formulate a sense of belonging through cultural policy? And, why cultural policy might fail? Because the politics of cultural policy has either been overlooked or considered only in general terms without thorough examination on a long-term basis, this thesis examinest he relationshipb etweenc ulturalp olicy and culturali dentityb y exploring the case of post-war Taiwan. The development and dramatic change of cultural identity in post-war Taiwan provides a good testing ground to examine the relationship between cultural policy and identity construction, especially during the volatile identity crisis in the 1990s. There are two parts in this dissertation. Part I focuses on textual research of a half-century of Taiwanese cultural policy, alongside the island's historical development; Part 11 records and analyses the fieldwork I carried out on Taiwanese theatre to substantiate the textual analysis in Part 1. This thesis deals with issues in two areas that no other research has explored before and tries to indicate the universal implications of the analysis of Taiwanese identity construction and cultural policy. Firstly, through the analysis of the politics of culture in Taiwan, this research demonstrates how a stable and deeply rooted China-centric identity was overturned within only two years. Furthermore, it highlights the politics of culture by displaying how an authoritarian regime was challenged, and how cultural hegemony could be won in order to grasp political power. Secondly, the case study provides evidence manifesting the changing nature of contemporary cultural policy, and its hidden politics. Under the name of 'supporting the arts', the state uses cultural policy to maintain its cultural hegemony. Although Taiwan has carried out a process of democratisation since the 1980s, the state has not loosened its control on culture, but has rather changed its strategy of how to control. A new alliance between regulation and market forces has formed, and becomes the nexus of modem cultural policy.