[Discussion Event] Reimagining Our Hawker Culture, Post-UNESCO

On May 8, 2021, SPJ hosted a discussion event on Singapore’s hawker culture, following its addition to the UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in December 2020. The discussion centered on key concerns and questions relating to Singapore’s hawker culture that have been dominating nationwide conversations: What is our hawker culture? As older hawkers retire, how might Singaporean hawker culture continue to evolve in ways that facilitate its longevity? What is the role of public policy in preserving and progressing hawker culture?

Check out our summary for a peek at what was discussed. This marks our final event for Spring 2021, and SPJ would like to thank everyone for their support this past academic year. Stay tuned for our other upcoming events later this year!

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[Discussion Event] The Ties That Bind: Unpacking the Social Compact

On December 5th, SPJ hosted its final virtual discussion of the Fall semester. The discussion centered around Singapore’s social compact — specifically, its underlying principles, current state, and future trajectories; topics which have become increasingly salient in the wake of GE 2020 and the inequities exposed by COVID-19 in Singapore. Read on for a summary of the discussion.

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A Growing Government-Ground Divide

Kwan Jin Yao analyzes the perceived deficiencies in the government’s engagement with youth. In this piece, he provides an overview of the trends that have facilitated youth civic and political engagement in Singapore, and the ideological bases that underlie this government-ground divide. He ends off on a hopeful note — with concrete ways that this divide can be bridged.

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The Case For Incorporating Social Analysis Into Policy Design

Paul argues that policymakers need to move beyond numbers-driven, utilitarian logics of decision-making and incorporate a human-centered approach to policy-making. Drawing from Teo You Yenn’s seminal work on the need to understand issues like inequality as lived experiences rather than just statistical data, Paul considers the benefits of a social analysis approach and examines the ways in which it can be implemented in Singapore.

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