Letter to the Editor: Response to Rethinking Scholarship Diversity

Aloysius Foo responds to our previous article by Andrew Chia, Rethinking Scholarship Diversity: The Pre-U Education of PSC Scholars. In his letter, he highlights the need to go beyond diversity, and explore the deeper issues surrounding Singapore’s social class reproduction, which has created an “Aristocracy of Merit”.

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The politics of language: How can we mainstream social justice vocabularies?

How might we mainstream social justice ideas and language, beginning a national conversation that extends beyond more recognised civil society actors? Reflecting on the discourse surrounding migrant rights, Quah Say Jye draws upon philosopher Miranda Fricker’s concept of “epistemic injustice” to propose a shared vocabulary that might allow migrant workers into our linguistic community. He suggests that our semantic choices need to accurately represent the lived experiences of migrant workers, be accessible to them and the general public, and have the potential to pivot towards broader structural critiques.

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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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The Legitimization of Inequality

Meritocracy is generally celebrated as an ideology that promotes equality of opportunity, and hence, seen as just. Xuan Yee interrogates this view by exploring the moral, psychological, and intellectual ramifications of meritocracy when taken to its extreme. He argues that an unquestioned belief in meritocracy is dangerous, for it encourages the successful to justify their own moral deservingness of their position in society, and thus, legitimizes inequality.

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A stronger and more distinct Singaporean-Chinese identity necessary for addressing China’s misperceptions of Singapore

Drawing on her undergraduate research on mainland Chinese students’ perception of the Singaporean-Chinese identity, Shu Min Chong finds that misperceptions result in mainland Chinese having unrealistic expectations of Singaporeans and Singapore. While it is easy to put blame on China, Shu Min argues that Singapore needs to do more to articulate what a unique Singaporean-Chinese identity looks like.

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同为华人?论新加坡人与中国人对“新加坡华人”的认知差异

“中国人和新加坡华人都是华人”,这种看法成立吗?基于她本科论文有关新中两国人民对“新加坡华人”认知差异的研究,张树敏发现当中国人对新加坡华人身份和文化的认知与现实有偏差。她认为新加坡应该加强本土华人身份认同,并对此提出一些政策意见。

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The Loving Critics Have Votes, What They Want Is Voice

While recent events have triggered concerns over democracy and fundamental freedoms in Singapore, Seow Yongzhi argues that these debates conflate the terms “democracy” and “liberalism”. Democracies, as Yongzhi points out, can be highly illiberal. Instead, what Singaporeans want is not necessarily democracy, but liberty – the right to voice their disagreements.

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