The Patuxai Monument

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This is a qualitative investigation to study and analyze the meanings of the Patuxai Monument in Vientiane, Laos, in the context of the historical and sociocultural dimensions of Laos from 1957 to the present. The researchers used the concept of semiology by Ferdinand de Saussure to explain the Patuxai Monument as signifier and signified. Data was gathered from documentary review and field study in Vientiane. Findings show that Patuxai Monument has been used as a symbol that gives multiple meanings according to the political ideology of the period. Three distinct periods are identified when Patuxai had unique architectural identities, but it also grew as a symbolic structure signifying the economic and social relationships connecting Laos and the international world.