The biopolitics of birth control technologies : controlling women’s reproduction in Singapore (1960s – 1980s)
Yap, Priscilla Shi Han
Date of Issue2018
School of Humanities and Social Sciences
This paper uses a discourse analytic perspective to explore the historical landscape of the family planning program shaped in Singapore. Bringing modern birth control technologies into the foreground, this paper seeks to explore these biopolitical devices that existed as powerful tools of the state in the social regulation of reproduction. Using a biopolitical framework, the paper examines the politically vested reproductive female body. The paper posits that the site of the female body was filled with power interests. This paper demonstrates how the reproductive bodies of Singaporean women had been problematized in policy discourse and debates through the construction of knowledge, allowing the body to manifest as an easy target for manipulation. This paper examines the strategies and mechanisms through which human life processes (which in this case: - fertility and reproduction control) are managed under regimes of authority over knowledge, power, and the processes of subjectivised. While the state was interested in controlling women’s reproductive power and the developmental project, women were not objects of contraception but rather agents interpreting the family planning program. Introduction of modern technologies have both regulated and liberated women, reshaping gender relations.
Final Year Project (FYP)
Nanyang Technological University