Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: https://scholarbank.nus.edu.sg/handle/10635/155628
Title: SEEING THROUGH HER WORLD: THE POLITICS OF REPRESENTATIONS OF PROFESSIONAL WOMEN IN 1970S SINGAPORE
Authors: WON JIA MIN
Keywords: sub-section
work-family challenge
negotiation
social acceptance
respectable modernity
traditional values
social good
gender typicality
multi-faceted image
peer support
Issue Date: 22-Apr-2019
Citation: WON JIA MIN (2019-04-22). SEEING THROUGH HER WORLD: THE POLITICS OF REPRESENTATIONS OF PROFESSIONAL WOMEN IN 1970S SINGAPORE. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: The 1970s renewed domestic and international interests in the roles of women in Singapore. At home, with higher education and smaller families, women became more involved in the workforce. Simultaneously, the second wave of feminism spread throughout the world. During this period, professional women emerged as a sub-section of women in Singapore. Throughout the decade, various debates surrounded their identities. Her World's chief editor, Betty Khoo, had surmised the 70s as a fascinating yet confusing time for professional women like herself. This thesis examines representations of professional women portrayed in Her World magazines in the 1970s. Much academic scholarship has focused on the co-option of professional women into the state’s discourse of women in Singapore. In particular, scholars assumed that professional women complied to state-sanctioned gendered roles. On the other hand, some scholars have sought to create an alternative image of professional women. They considered the 'dangerous sexuality' of professional women to illustrate how professional women have actively resisted the state's manipulation of gendered discourse. These two camps of scholars have centred their discussion on the national narrative, examining sources such as parliamentary debates and national newspapers that discussed professional women in relation to family members and male co-workers. This thesis therefore seeks to complicate existing understandings of professional women. By exploring the relative and self-perceptions of professional women via a cultural product of their own creation, I hope to demonstrate that a two-way relationship between professional women as individuals, and the larger national narrative. As a social group, professional women have appropriated and modified state-directed gendered tropes in the 1970s. Professional women portrayed in Her World demonstrated that they were well-placed to assert their own interests and identities.
URI: https://scholarbank.nus.edu.sg/handle/10635/155628
Appears in Collections:Bachelor's Theses

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