Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://scholarbank.nus.edu.sg/handle/10635/144164
Title: Moralities of Public Housing: The Public Rental Scheme and the Perception of Homelessness in Singapore
Authors: Julius Chiang Kai Cheng
Keywords: morality, landscapes, public housing, home ownership, homelessness
Issue Date: 2018
Citation: Julius Chiang Kai Cheng (2018). Moralities of Public Housing: The Public Rental Scheme and the Perception of Homelessness in Singapore. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: Even as the world strains to move forwards and upwards socioeconomically, the question of how poverty management should be approached is becoming increasingly pertinent. In Singapore, where home ownership ranks high on the agendas of both the state and the populace, the resurgence of the homeless in public spaces in 2007 was a sobering reminder of the socioeconomic polarisation that is often not visibly apparent. In the state’s approach to assisting the poor, the Public Rental Scheme provides highly subsidised housing options for the poorest tranches of the population. This thesis sets out to trace how the Public Rental Scheme has had—if at all—a mediating effect on how homelessness is perceived in Singapore. Drawing primarily from the literature on cultural and moral landscapes, this thesis submits that the perception of homelessness is intertwined with how people understand ‘home’, and is a moral discourse embodied in the material landscape of housing in Singapore. Thereafter, this thesis deploys Michael Walzer’s theoretical distinction of thin/thick moralities to interpret the findings from a survey conducted of resident populations in select HDB estates; elucidating how moral discourses have been unevenly internalised in the subjectivities and beliefs that people hold. By interrogating the effects of moral discourses in both their discursive and material forms, this thesis seeks to provide a contemporary critique of what eradicating homelessness truly entails, positing a homogenising effect at the nexus of the material, cultural and moral landscapes. In doing so, this thesis calls for a critical reflection into how homelessness is defined—as an embodied characteristic or a physical state, and how this definition shapes what is considered as ‘ethical behaviour’.
URI: http://scholarbank.nus.edu.sg/handle/10635/144164
Appears in Collections:Bachelor's Theses (Restricted)

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