Social reproduction and the limits of a neoliberal approach : the case of Singapore.
Sun, Shirley Hsiao-Li.
Date of Issue2012
School of Humanities and Social Sciences
Should citizenship status confer social rights independent of an individual's economic contribution? This study approaches this question through looking at social settings in which answers are contested. Specifically, it documents and analyzes qualitative semi-structured interviews and focus group interviews with 221 Singaporean citizens. As such, it complements existing critical policy studies on shifting conceptualizations of social citizenship and the rise of neoliberal governance. Data analysis illustrates interviewees' perceptions and lived experience of neoliberal, or 'market citizenship', bias in state population policy. Interviewees, moreover, find existing pronatalist incentives helpful but insufficient, largely because they see a decision to have more children as a long-term commitment requiring continual investment. They call for more generous, sustained, and universal state provisions for education and health, as well as homemaker allowances, which would be closer to feminist and classical formulations of citizenship-as-social rights.