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Title: Rethinking the Influenza a H1N1-2009 Pandemic: Singaporean Youth Perspectives
Keywords: sociology, H1N1-2009, pandemic, youth
Issue Date: 21-Jan-2011
Citation: LIM KEAN BON (2011-01-21). Rethinking the Influenza a H1N1-2009 Pandemic: Singaporean Youth Perspectives. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: This thesis explores two groups of Singaporean youths? perspectives of the official control and preventive response protocol implemented during the H1N1-2009 pandemic period. Its research design and approaches are informed by symbolic interactionist assumptions that posit individuals such as the young respondents in my sample as social agents who define the pandemic situation individually vis-a-vis their internalization of and engagement with rules and norms in their micro- and macro-social contexts. The first group of youths comprises 15 students of ages from 13 to 17 who were attending schools under the Ministry of Education (MOE) system. They were formally policed, monitored and educated by school teachers in their practice and understanding of response measures during the pandemic period. The second group comprises 15 youths of ages from 18 to 25 who were undergraduates or employees in various work organisations. Unlike the first group, they did not experience the pandemic response measures and education in the same formal school setting. Qualitative data were generated from interviews with these 30 youths from October 2009 to December 2009. Two key findings arose from these interviews. One, younger respondents from the first group were significantly less appreciative of and responsive to formal control and prevention than respondents in the second group. Two, the younger group of youths engaged negatively with their past experiences of SARS response measures in schools and consequently developed less concern and tolerance for re-experiencing a similar strategy for H1N1-2009 in the same formal school setting. In view of these findings, this thesis posits that formal policing of pandemic response measures in schools has its limitations in its approach to fully involve youths? participation in pandemic response efforts. Both findings have implications for effective pandemic control and prevention, as they affect the overall quality of students? participation in the protocol and their preventive and knowledge-seeking behaviour adopted. Instead of rigidly mandating and maintaining students? literal compliance to response measures, there is a need to redirect focus on gaining their understanding to improve the quality of their compliance to prevention and control in a formal school setting. Rethinking the implementation of response measures in schools that take their perspectives into account is necessary to attain this goal.
Appears in Collections:Master's Theses (Open)

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