Singapore: The Politics of Inventing National Identity
This study wants to shed new light on the politics of Singapore’s national identity invention. Since independence in 1965, the Singaporean government has tried to generate a sense of national identity in Singapore. While at first, the priority was on pragmatic values to promote the economic development, this changed in the late 1980s when the government became concerned with the widespread materialism within the society. As an alternative, so-called Asian values sought to provide an ideological alternative and a new basis for a stronger national identity. At the same time, average Singaporeans have developed their own unique conceptions of the city-state’s national identity, which sometimes contradict the official nation-building efforts and thus constitute a subtle form of opposition. Many Singaporeans demand greater participation in the negotiation of their Singaporean identity, which demonstrates the difficulty of constructing a sustainable authoritarian civic national identity.
Volume (Year): 28 (2009)
Issue (Month): 4 ()
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