Financial Crisis and Social Restructuring in Singapore

Hing Ai Yun

Abstract


This paper will approach the question of the social impact of the financial crisis from both the structural and micro perspectives. It will make use of data generated from small-scale studies of everyday life and statistical indicators of socio-economic transformations. We first discuss how the state was able to grasp opportunities presented by the crisis to reassert its hegemonic authority which has seen gradual erosions after more than three decades of economic boom. The paper then examines the new model of the Singaporean as designed by the state, ostensibly to enable them to compete in the new millennium. Although the hype is for a 'new Singaporean', closer examination of what is actually required reveals the same compliant hard-working creature but dressed in new clothes of 'innovativeness and talents', current buzzwords unforgettable for their repetitiveness as abroad cast in both the print and electronic media. The paper then proceeds to focus on the constituents of these state machinations to disclose the indeterminate nature of their formation/reformation and development. Despite being subjected to a whole array of disciplinary technologies, constituent subjetcts are struggling to overcome their sufferings and sudden traumatic experiences brought on by the financial crisis, to build their lives as best they can. They have been forced to discard old ideologies in order to remake themselves and their families in the light of what they have learned from the abyss of the crisis. Indeed, new technologies touted by the state as their possible saviour have not brought only benefits. It is now too early to say how the virtual world hastened into being by the financial crisis will finally shape the lives of different gorups of poeple. Case studies of young females and gangsters show that in their incapacitated position of disadvantage, IT will even bring unforeseen consequences.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.22439/cjas.v14i1.2152



Copenhagen Journal of Asian Studies
ISSN (print): 1395-4199, ISSN (online): 2246-2163

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