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Title: A Fruitful Graft: Examining the Localisation of 'White Privilege' as 'Chinese Privilege' in Singapore
Issue Date: 2-Apr-2018
Citation: KOH JHAI LENG, SHAMMAH (2018-04-02). A Fruitful Graft: Examining the Localisation of 'White Privilege' as 'Chinese Privilege' in Singapore. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: In recent years, the term ‘Chinese privilege’ has increasingly been employed by Singaporeans on social media and independent news platforms to characterise the racial tensions and inequalities in Singaporean society. This thesis investigates the merits of drawing on the methodological framework of white privilege theory to inform analyses of racial politics in Singapore. This is done by performing a critical, historical and empirically-grounded study of the construction of whiteness and white privilege theory, gauging its usefulness for the study of the contemporary realities of Singapore, and finally combining it with indigenous racial critique to construct an empirically-grounded, critical theory of Chinese privilege that is historically, politically and historically contextualised to Singaporean society. I argue that using the lens of Chinese privilege demonstrates the presence of institutional racial privileges despite Singapore’s general narrative of racial equality and meritocracy that is central to the discourse of multiculturalism. However, detached from the broader scholarship on race in Singapore, ‘Chinese privilege’ does not adequately recognise that the entrenchment of Chinese privilege produced, and continues to produce, an ideology of elite legitimacy which present forms of governance are built on. Therefore, for ‘Chinese privilege’ to be meaningfully used, it must be firmly situated in other critiques of Singaporean multiculturalism, racial disciplining and everyday racism to holistically analyse the terrain of racial politics in Singapore.
Appears in Collections:Bachelor's Theses

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