Race and Racial Identity: The [Other]s’ Face of Singapore
Jin, Mark Rong
Date of Issue2017
School of Humanities and Social Sciences
This paper seeks to take a more critical look at the concept of race and racial categories here in Singapore, through shedding greater light on how individuals within the “Others” category view race and how they negotiate their personal identity in light of the dominant Chinese-Malay-Indian-Others (CMIO) categorization. Drawing on in-depth interviews to explore their racial narrative and lived experiences, it was observed that the construction of these citizens’ racial identity is highly complicated. Although race in Singapore is still heavily influenced by the state’s discourse, this paper hypothesizes that respondents still possess the ability to exercise agency and to engage in various mechanisms to negotiate their racial identity. The main themes of discussion in this paper would thus explore how they do so, namely, through (i) the construction of specific, varied racial narratives, (ii) the adjustment of behaviour, (iii) and the exercising of reflexivity in problematic race-related situations – before exploring some of the struggles that mixed-race individuals in particular face and how the access to certain forms of capital also allows them to better negotiate racial boundaries.
Final Year Project (FYP)
Nanyang Technological University