Otherness in the Globalized Multiculturalism Period in Singapore: Case Study from Modern Singaporean Literary Works by Female Writers


  • Dr.Ranwarat Poonsri Assistant Professor, Department of Literature, Faculty of Humanities, Kasetsart University. email: ranwarat.p@ku.th


Multiculturalism, Singaporean literature, Racial pride


This article aims to study the representation and narrative of otherness in modern Singaporean literary works including novels, short stories and plays by female writers in the Ethnic Integration and Multiculturalism Period as a case study for the ASEAN community. In the Globalized Multiculturalism period, the Singaporean government tried to manage “otherness” from inside and outside the country. For “Inside Otherness”, the government supported creating a harmonious multicultural society and established an open-door policy to welcome foreign workers and skillful Western expatriates into Singapore. Otherness in Singapore there are two-layered. On the one hand, ‘otherness’ refers to the presence of foreign workers and expats; on the other, ‘otherness’ refers to the multiracial make-up Singaporean citizens. The Singaporean government encouraged understanding among citizens through use of films, songs, and the state’s policies, including the Ethnic Integration Policy and the Kampong Spirit. Selected modern Singaporean literary works in English from female writers Catherine Lim, Stella Kon and Suchen Christine Lim represented Singaporean citizens’ bias toward foreign workers and Western expats in Singapore. These literary works also criticized Singaporean Chinese eminent multicultural society and presented racial bias among Singaporeans themselves, especially toward hybrid mixed-racial citizens such as Eurasians and Chindians.


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