Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: https://scholarbank.nus.edu.sg/handle/10635/223093
Title: VALUE PERSPECTIVES ON SINGAPORE'S PUBLIC HOUSING: A SYSTEM OF CONSUMPTION
Authors: YEO BEE LIAN JEANETTE
Keywords: Real Estate
RE
Master (Real Estate)
Yu Shi Ming
2015/2016 RE
Consumption
Culture
Housing
Singapore
Society
Issue Date: 11-Jan-2016
Citation: YEO BEE LIAN JEANETTE (2016-01-11). VALUE PERSPECTIVES ON SINGAPORE'S PUBLIC HOUSING: A SYSTEM OF CONSUMPTION. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: This paper is concerned with uncovering the emergence of a system of consumption of public housing by examining the language used by Singapore parliamentarians (as proxies for Singaporeans) in live oral debates from 1955 to date. The debates reveal a social culture at risk of being subverted by such a system whereby a public flat is regarded as a commodity; the individual consumes the sign value of the commodity; and the state puts resources into sustaining or augmenting this sign value to preserve its political relevance. Once subservient to production, it adopts life cycles that are susceptible to the tastes of fashion instead of being a centrifugal force which binds society. In the area of public housing, this paper shows that a policy of building by chasing demand leaves us vulnerable to the siren calls of a sign system of consumption which tempts us to forget what the meaning of home truly is and distracts us from the real constraints on societal growth and cohesiveness. Supplementing a classical economic analysis with an understanding of the subtext of social differentiation and the dynamics of the consumption of sign value will improve our chances of getting to the cause of the current state of conspicuous consumption of housing.
URI: https://scholarbank.nus.edu.sg/handle/10635/223093
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