Rehearsing citizenship: the governing of juvenile delinquency in colonial Malaya

Peter Triantafillou, Afonso Moreira

    Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningpeer review


    This article traces the sudden problematisation and governing of juvenile delinquency in British colonial Malaya in the decade preceding independence in 1957 whereby a juvenile court system, a network of institutions for delinquents, and a series of training and disciplinary practices were set up to rehabilitate the delinquent in order to turn him into a responsible citizen. Drawing on the analytics of disciplinary and ethical practices conducted by Michel Foucault, it is argued that the governing of juvenile delinquency in colonial Malaya may be seen as a fundamental element of a wider assemblage of normalising techniques seeking to recast subjectivity from that of immature individuals into active and responsible self-governing ones, and that these techniques were highly dividing in that they produced not only what is taken to be good citizens but also delinquents. It is shown that Malaysian independence, far from leading to a break with these power-laden practices of citizenship, instead leads to their further development, dispersal and institutionalisation.
    TidsskriftCitizenship Studies
    Udgave nummer3
    Sider (fra-til)325-340
    StatusUdgivet - 2002

    Citer dette