Culture mixing in singapore: do singaporeans view foreign cultural symbols integrated into their own culture as a form of contamination?
Chan, Wei Xin
Date of Issue2017
School of Humanities and Social Sciences
Integrating a foreign cultural symbol with a local cultural symbol is known as culture mixing, a phenomenon proposed to induce an impression of cultural contamination, thereby evoking disgust. The present study investigates the effects of disgust elicited from culture mixing and whether contamination is perceived to result in a transference of essence from the foreign to the local cultural symbol, tainting the purity of the local symbol even after their separation. Participants were 80 Singaporean university students randomly assigned to be in either the mixed or side-by-side (SBS) condition. The mixed condition presented participants with images of Mainland Chinese cultural symbols superimposed on Singaporean cultural symbols, while the SBS condition presented participants with images of Mainland Chinese cultural symbols alongside Singaporean cultural symbols. Results supported the prediction that participants in the mixed condition would exhibit higher levels of disgust towards the pure Singaporean cultural symbol after exposure to culture mixing. The study also revealed a surprising finding that participants in the mixed condition were more willing than participants in the SBS condition to engage in Singaporean identity-bolstering behaviours by outwardly displaying local cultural symbols previously involved in culture mixing. Additionally, we considered individual factors such as need for closure, patriotism, disgust sensitivity, feelings towards Mainland Chinese, and racial essentialism that may moderate the impact of culture mixing on the level of disgust towards the pure Singaporean cultural symbol and willingness to use the symbol to engage in Singaporean-identity bolstering behaviour.
Final Year Project (FYP)
Nanyang Technological University