Cultural policy in Singapore : the case of local English popular music from 1960s to 1970s
Muhammad Faruq Senin
Date of Issue2016
School of Humanities and Social Sciences
In this paper, I analyse the cultural policy of post-independence Singapore and its implications on the English popular music industry from the 1960s to 1970s. I examine how cultural policy in Singapore was largely a product of the state and how it was used in creating a particular national and cultural identity for the nation. In doing so, I shed light on how the English popular music scene was used as a space where state authorities policed culture. I argue that state attempts to eradicate Western decadent influences in the English popular music scene was part of larger political objectives to exterminate Western cultural influences and create a new and distinct Singaporean identity. In the process, the local English popular music scene went into decline and had to adapt to changes. However, I also negotiate the official cultural policy by introducing sentiments from the ground to show that the state’s policing of the English popular music scene was a result of anxieties and the government played up these anxieties through its organisations and the mass media. Hence, Singapore’s culture in the early years of its independence was a dynamic interplay among the state, cultural practitioners and the general public.
Final Year Project (FYP)
Nanyang Technological University