Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://scholarbank.nus.edu.sg/handle/10635/143518
Title: "Eat Already?" - Considering the revitalization of Chinese dialects in Singapore from a market-theoretic perspective
Authors: TAN JIAN XIN HANSEL
Issue Date: 16-Apr-2018
Citation: TAN JIAN XIN HANSEL (2018-04-16). "Eat Already?" - Considering the revitalization of Chinese dialects in Singapore from a market-theoretic perspective. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: This thesis examines the attempt to revitalize Chinese dialects in Singapore through a Bourdieusian market-theoretic perspective. Focusing on a recently produced local dialect drama "Eat Already?", I examine how dialect use is attuned to different demands and logics of conversion of the markets "Eat Already?" is embedded in. I show that dialect use ultimately conforms to a state-backed logic, which attempts to unify all markets by imposing itself as the sole way to value all linguistic practices. This is a result of successfully conditioning a habitus that perceives dialects in a specific manner that while not explicitly negative, is neither positive either. This is seen in the way dialect speakers are represented as uneducated or deficient, in the way government discourse is often spoken in Mandarin and in the way Mandarin and dialects are juxtaposed in discourse surrounding literary culture and modern technology. Despite this, I show how the creators of "Eat Already?" attempt to revitalize dialects by presenting an alternative logic that values dialects and does not subvert the dominant logic, but rather can coexist together with it. I suggest that this prompts us to reconceptualise logics of conversion and their place in markets, to consider the mobility of a logic from one market to another as an exercise in agency, and to view the dominating, unifying aspect of a logic as a function of power and separate from this mobility.
URI: http://scholarbank.nus.edu.sg/handle/10635/143518
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