Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Restructuring of education, youth, and citizenship : an ethnographic study of private higher education in contemporary Singapore
Author: Cheng, Yi'En
ISNI:       0000 0004 6062 1263
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2015
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Full text unavailable from EThOS. Please try the link below.
Access from Institution:
In spite of widespread critiques about the neoliberalisation of higher education and its production of citizenship in relation to the market, transformation of students into profit-maximising individuals, and the vitalisation of a self-enterprising subjectivity, many of these claims remain under-examined with respect to cultural production. The objective of this research is to explore the neoliberal production of middle-class citizenship through the lens of educated non-elite local youth in Singapore. By combining geographical, sociological and anthropological insights about education and youth, I develop a theoretically informed ethnographic case study to examine how this segment of young people reproduce themselves as middle-class citizens. The research is based on eleven months of fieldwork at a local private institute of higher education, where I hanged around, talked to, and observed Singaporean young people between ages 18 and 25 studying for their first degree. The ethnographic materials are written up into four substantive papers, demonstrating the ways in which educated non-elite Singaporean youth in private higher education engage with state disseminated ideas around neoliberal accumulation and human capital formation. I argue that these students draw on class-based sensibilities and feelings to produce vibrant forms of normativities, subjectivities, and politics that pose a challenge to dominant assumptions of a "hollowed out" citizenship under neoliberalism. The research makes two overall interventions in geographic and social scientific writings about neoliberal restructuring of higher education and its implications for youth citizenship. First, it cautions against a straightforward claim that neoliberal technologies of control have extended market values into citizenship subjectivity and, with it, the erosion of progressive political projects. Second, it provides a much-needed analysis of middle-class citizenship formation among young people caught at the losing end of a diversifying educational landscape.
Supervisor: Jeffery, Craig ; Waters, Johanna Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Education ; Higher--Singapore ; Private universities and colleges--Social aspects ; Universities and colleges--Economic aspects ; Education--Finance ; Singapore--Social conditions--21st century ; Singapore--Economic conditions--21st century