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Title: A Community of Prestige: A Social History of the Cosmopolitan Elite Class in Colonial Singapore
Keywords: colonialism, imperialism, class, status, race, symbolism
Issue Date: 24-Aug-2009
Citation: ERIK HOLMBERG (2009-08-24). A Community of Prestige: A Social History of the Cosmopolitan Elite Class in Colonial Singapore. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: Elites of different races in colonial Singapore made social connections amongst themselves and developed a sense of fellow membership in a cosmopolitan community of prestige by taking part together in a system of status symbols. These elites created and sustained their system of status symbols; and, in the absence of a shared culture, these elites were socially integrated by their shared symbolic system, which gave cohesion to their class. This fact is especially socially significant, given that colonial Singapore was a multiracial and culturally diverse Settlement, where the population was divided by cultural boundaries. Since the leading members of different sections of this population were represented among the elites, the elite class could not base its sense of community upon shared cultural heritage or identity. Thus, colonial Singapore presents a case which highlights the importance of social and symbolic integration, rather than cultural or ethnic foundations of elite class cohesion.
Appears in Collections:Ph.D Theses (Open)

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