Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://scholarbank.nus.edu.sg/handle/10635/23695
Title: Roots/Routes to Teenagers' Citizenship in Singapore
Authors: CHEN ZHAOYAN MADELINE
Keywords: children and young people's geographies, teenagers, citizenship, singapore, mobility, identity
Issue Date: 16-Aug-2010
Source: CHEN ZHAOYAN MADELINE (2010-08-16). Roots/Routes to Teenagers' Citizenship in Singapore. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: This study examines teenagers? understandings of citizenship, their world-views on Singapore and its relation to the world and cosmopolitanism as a facet of their citizenship through a geographical perspective. Three strands of concerns were identified in this study. They are (1) teenagers' perspectives on citizenship, (2) their potential international mobility and (3) cosmopolitanism. Teenagers mostly formulate their understandings of citizenship through either imagining their ?roots? through their experiences of school, citizenship education and local places or ?routes?, where formulations of citizenship is imagined through juxtaposing Singapore with other places when overseas. In examining the ?roots approach?, especially in fostering the dimensions of love for nation and national pride in teenagers' citizenship, I found that ?shared experiences?, like histories, traditions and local knowledge (Smith, 1989) help match one's individual scale of citizenship to a national scale. This is especially when shared with the community, be the immediate family or an imagined one like the nation. The importance of place and its immediate relationship to having ?shared experiences? with others is also seen in the importance attributed to jus solis. Teenagers felt that school activities prepares them in terms of ?becoming better citizens?, having had heterogeneous experiences of NE, a localised brand of citizenship infused into their school activities. Their experiences are however hampered by a lack of praxis of democracy during lessons, institutionalized school practices and programmes. Volunteering within the Community Involvement Programme (CIP) allows greater mobility for teenagers and is also the most participative form of citizenship, combining a praxis of citizenship education and social contribution. The geography of places and international mobility is pertinent to teenagers' conceptualisation of cosmopolitanism and ?routes approach? to citizenship. Through analysing teenagers' potential international mobility, I argue that teenagers expect themselves to become ?floaters?, where they have relatively strong roots/routes to maintaining a sense of belonging to Singapore. Greater mobility arguably enables better fostering of teenagers' citizenship, as teenagers' reflected positive experiences of learning about citizenship through CIP in places outside schools, and on overseas school trips. With international mobility, the ?routes approach? is reinforced at the global level as teenagers reflect on their national identities as young Singaporeans whenever they are overseas and also become more open to cosmopolitanism. Finally, teenagers are largely influenced by an ?employment model? of citizenship, where they saw themselves more as ?citizens-in-the-making?. This is reinforced by their status as dependents in their families and their student identities in schools. Teenagers today are also becoming aware of the global much earlier where the ?routes approach? to citizenship is initiated much earlier alongside the ?roots approach?. MOE's strategy in fostering an openness to cosmopolitanism amongst teenagers as ?citizens-in-the-making? arguably equips ?future? economically active individuals in Singapore to handle 'global risks' increasingly present at the individual level (Beck, 2007).
URI: http://scholarbank.nus.edu.sg/handle/10635/23695
Appears in Collections:Master's Theses (Open)

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10_A Appendix NE messages.pdf16.66 kBAdobe PDF

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11_B Appendix Thesis_Survey_MOE.pdf80.72 kBAdobe PDF

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12_C Appendix Memorandum of Interview Questions For Youths.pdf22.74 kBAdobe PDF

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13_to_16_ Appendix_D to G.pdf136.79 kBAdobe PDF

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