Article published in:Strategic Communication: Beyond nation cultural adaption, images and identity
Edited by Hassan Abu Bakar and Bahtiar Bin Mohamad
[Journal of Asian Pacific Communication 28:1] 2018
► pp. 151–171
Communicating archaeological heritage
Strategically connecting the past to the present from community perspectives
Existing archaeological heritage communication focuses on educating the public by emphasising scientific knowledge from the perspectives of experts (e.g. archaeologists), often sidelining the perspectives of the local community. Nevertheless, the local community’s perspective is equally important in providing humanistic insights and in connecting the past to the present context. This research explores how local communities make meaning of and relate heritage to their social identity. In-depth interviews were conducted with 20 purposely-sampled representatives from various local community groups in Lenggong Valley, Malaysia; including village heads, village elders and individuals from various social and cultural backgrounds. The findings provide interesting insights into how the local community defines and connects to heritage. Importantly, this study highlights multilayered dimensions of archaeological heritage that are intricately connected to contemporary society. Incorporating these wider dimensions into archaeological heritage communication will result in communication that is more socially, culturally and psychologically relevant, thus engendering greater interest and appreciation.
Keywords: heritage communication, heritage interpretation, social identity, heritage tourism, community participation
Published online: 19 January 2018
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