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Document Type:Latin Dissertation
Language of Document:English
Record Number:55127
Doc. No:TL25081
Call number:‭3211542‬
Main Entry:Youyenn Teo
Title & Author:No economy, no Singapore: Weddings, babies, and the development projectYouyenn Teo
College:University of California, Berkeley
Date:2005
Degree:Ph.D.
student score:2005
Page No:279
Abstract:This dissertation examines state rule and state-society relations in Singapore and, by extension, successful developmental states, focusing specifically on policies relating to the family. Singapore's family policies embody paradoxical dimensions of state rule: a highly "modern" sensibility coupled with appeals to "tradition"; trumping of neoliberal logic simultaneous with intense state intervention; and finally, emphasis on the negative consequences of the very development that the state claims responsibility for driving. Combining analyses of policy documents, interviews, and secondary scholarship on Singapore and Malaysia, the dissertation examines how these paradoxes are naturalized in Singapore society, and shows that this process generates a "culture of development" that is key to developmental states' long-term legitimacy. Policies have failed in their goal of increasing marriage and fertility rates. Nonetheless, they have had important latent effects. Normative practices and values are generated that constitute the Singaporean citizen subject. These subjects see themselves as part of a nation where development is the raison d'être. They further experience development as inevitably destructive of valuable "traditions." Despite misgivings about the state's approach, they see it as the only agent able to both spearhead development and protect cultures. The "culture of development" consists of these practices, expectations and values that citizen subjects embody and that orient them to the development process. Juxtaposing the cases of Singapore and Malaysia reveals that the culture of development is capital for the state: the coherence of Singaporean identity and the naturalness of the state's vision of development inoculates it against challenge and allows it to reproduce state power. Against the statist literature that emphasizes top-down, bureaucratic state power, the dissertation takes a more Foucauldian perspective that incorporates subjectivity and meaning. On the other hand, the project positions itself against the Foucauldian governmentality scholarship in insisting that the state remains a dominant strategic agent even when power is diffuse. Finally, it goes further than either of these approaches in showing that the reproduction of state power depends heavily on the meaningful consent of citizen subjects. Like state actions, citizens' consent is strategic and depends on the state's effective provision of valued material and cultural goods.
Subject:Social sciences; Development project; Family policies; Marriage; Singapore; State-society relations; Social structure; Families & family life; Personal relationships; Sociology; 0628:Sociology; 0628:Personal relationships; 0700:Social structure; 0628:Families & family life
Added Entry:P. R. Evans, Raka
Added Entry:University of California, Berkeley