Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://scholarbank.nus.edu.sg/handle/10635/16480
Title: Singaporeans in Shanghai and Sydney: Differential transnationalism
Authors: WAI WING TAI
Keywords: Transnational circuits; transnational communities; translocalities; Singapore; Shanghai; Sydney
Issue Date: 25-Jan-2006
Source: WAI WING TAI (2006-01-25). Singaporeans in Shanghai and Sydney: Differential transnationalism. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: Since the 1980s, the Singapore government has encouraged its people to go regional. Increasingly, Singaporean expatriates have chosen to invest and work in countries in the Asia Pacific region. As a result, we now find significant Singaporean communities in cities such as Shanghai, Sydney, Perth and Hong Kong. However, these people do not simply forget about a??homea?? in their new urban environments. Instead, their social identities in new countries are hybrids that draw on the histories and cultural practices of both a??homea?? and a??awaya??. This thesis examines some of the transnational connections that Singaporeans in Shanghai and Sydney maintain with a??homea??. Using the concepts of transnational circuits, transnational communities and translocalities, I show that the transnational geographies of overseas Singaporeans vary across different destination cities. On the one hand, the Singaporean community in Shanghai relocated to tap into the economic opportunities that have become available in the city. They create and maintain strong transnational economic circuits. Although these interviewees devote less time to community building, they are nevertheless members of an imagined Singaporean transnational community. The experiences among my interviewees in Shanghai foreground economic imperatives of transmigration rather than other socio-cultural considerations. On the other hand, relative to the interviewees in Shanghai, Singaporeans in Sydney were motivated to migrate by lifestyle reasons such as more open spaces, a perceived slower pace of life and cosmopolitanism. Although some of these interviewees also maintain active economic connections with Singapore, there is a sufficiently distinct group of people who have found jobs based on their tertiary qualifications acquired in Australian universities and for whom transnational economic connections do not feature as significant factors sustaining their work. These people are nevertheless part of a Singaporean transnational community that is both real and imagined. My case studies offer evidence of multiple overseas Singaporean communities who encounter transnationalism in simultaneously similar and different ways.
URI: http://scholarbank.nus.edu.sg/handle/10635/16480
Appears in Collections:Master's Theses (Open)

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