Breaking new ground : B-boys in Singapore
Lee, Mei Qing
Date of Issue2016
School of Humanities and Social Sciences
B-boying, or breakdancing, originated in New York as one of the street dance elements of hip-hop. This paper seeks to answer the question, “How is identity constructed amongst Singaporean b-boys?” Through a mixture of participant observation, interviews, and content analysis, it aims to shed some light on how Singapore’s unique sociopolitical landscape has affected a youth subculture so often associated with deviance and non-conformativity. An insider perspective will help with understanding how this seemingly exclusive community negotiates threats from mainstream culture while continuing to thrive in a society characterized by its intolerance of deviance. In this paper, I will argue that b-boys in Singapore face a paradoxical relationship with mainstream society because of the simultaneous dependence on, and threat of, mainstream culture. I will also discuss the implications of authenticity in the construction of a cohesive b-boy identity, as well as contestation of gender in a male-dominated environment.
Final Year Project (FYP)
Nanyang Technological University