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Title: ‘Everything Depends on You, Now’: The Geographies of Eurasian Identity in Multiracial Singapore
Authors: Eber Amanda Joy
Keywords: Singapore, multiculturalism, race, identity, hybridity, performativity
Issue Date: 2016
Citation: Eber Amanda Joy (2016). ‘Everything Depends on You, Now’: The Geographies of Eurasian Identity in Multiracial Singapore. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: In this paper, I examine the mutually constitutive relationship between identity, ‘race’ and space through the case study of people who identify as Eurasian, within the context of multiracial Singapore. Specifically, I look at the ways in which multiracialism – a derivative of multiculturalism – shapes space, and how these spaces in turn affect ‘race’, or processes of racialization. Multiracialism is one of the founding myths on which Singapore’s national identity is built, which I critique for shaping space in a way that prioritises and emphasises essentialised notions of race. Through qualitative interviews with ‘mixed race’ Eurasians in Singapore, I argue that racial identities are not fixed or distinct or natural at all. Instead, racial identities must be seen as ongoing processes of racialization that are constantly being affected by changes in the spaces around them. To support this argument, I analyse the spatial practices and experiences of Singaporean Eurasians in various spatial contexts, including spaces of the home and spaces of encounter. I bring in the concepts of hybridity and performativity in order to look at how Singapore Eurasians are able to challenge, disrupt and negotiate their racialised identities within the rigid hegemonic structures of multiracialism that pervade Singapore. In light of these critiques, I propose that Singapore should look towards moving beyond multiracialism completely, towards new ways of celebrating cultural difference without neglecting minority groups, while also being more accommodating towards heterogeneity and change.
Appears in Collections:Bachelor's Theses (Restricted)

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