Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://scholarbank.nus.edu.sg/handle/10635/13068
Title: The 'Gift' of the Disaster: Singaporeans' generous responses to the Indian Ocean Tsunami
Authors: WOON CHIH YUAN
Keywords: Generosity; Donations; Volunteerism; Singaporeans; Indian Ocean Tsunami
Issue Date: 12-Feb-2008
Source: WOON CHIH YUAN (2008-02-12). The 'Gift' of the Disaster: Singaporeans' generous responses to the Indian Ocean Tsunami. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: The horrific Indian Ocean Tsunami of 26 December 2004 was followed by a tidal wave of (dramatic and disturbing) media coverage focusing on the spectacular scale of destruction. Going beyond these immediate reactions to unpick the myriad geographies of the event, context and aftermath, my research agenda in the wake of the tsunami hovers on a(n) (impoverished) socio-political analysis, focusing on the multiple geographies of generous practices by Singaporeans to tsunami affected places and peoples. Building on debates related to topics of caring at a distance and the geographies of responsibility, I argue that while such literature flesh out moralizing exhortations for generosity to be extended to distant unknown strangers, they fail to exemplify practical reasoning to account for such generous practices. I seek to show that such failure stems from faulty assumptions about the sorts of influences people are liable to act upon (one that privileges causal knowledge as the primary motivating force) and also flawed assumptions about the sorts of problems that academic reasoning about normative issues are meant to address (the assumption that people are fundamentally egoistic and are not altruistic enough). Using the theme of generosity as an entry point, the thesis posits that the motivations driving Singaporeansb
URI: http://scholarbank.nus.edu.sg/handle/10635/13068
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