Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

Arts and Humanities Commons

Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

Social and Behavioral Sciences

Series

University of Wollongong

Singapore

Articles 1 - 23 of 23

Full-Text Articles in Arts and Humanities

The Legendary Overseas Chinese Anti-Japanese Army In The Defence Of Singapore During The Japanese Invasion Of February 1942, Jung Kwok Jan 2009

The Legendary Overseas Chinese Anti-Japanese Army In The Defence Of Singapore During The Japanese Invasion Of February 1942, Jung Kwok

Faculty of Arts - Papers (Archive)

Known as the Overseas Anti-Japanese Army by the Chinese in Singapore but officially as Dalforce by the British, this was a Chinese militia unit formed to defend Singapore Island during the Japanese invasion in 1942. Its unit history written by its deputy commander Major Hu Tie Jun suggests that the Overseas Anti-Japanese Army was a heroic and patriotic army. The legendary exploits of the Overseas Chinese Anti-Japanese Army has since been picked up by Singaporean journalist writer Foong Choon Hon and made into a popular wartime narrative in Singapore in his best seller war narrative The Price of Peace. Since ...


Love, Sex And The Spaces In-Between: Kepri Wives And Their Cross-Border Husbands, Lenore T. Lyons, M. Ford Apr 2008

Love, Sex And The Spaces In-Between: Kepri Wives And Their Cross-Border Husbands, Lenore T. Lyons, M. Ford

Faculty of Arts - Papers (Archive)

In the Riau Islands of Indonesia significant numbers of women have entered into marriages with men from the nearby countries of Singapore and Malaysia. In many cases, neither spouse migrates after marriage: instead, husband and wife continue to reside in their country of origin. Their close geographical proximity means that the couples can see each other regularly while at the same time taking advantage of the economic opportunities presented by living on different sides of the border. These cross-border marriages challenge the normative model of the nuclear cohabiting couple/family. Our research into the motivations and desires of these cross-border ...


It’S About Bang For Your Buck, Bro: Singaporean Men’S Online Conversations About Sex In Batam, Indonesia, S Williams, Lenore T. Lyons, M Ford Jan 2008

It’S About Bang For Your Buck, Bro: Singaporean Men’S Online Conversations About Sex In Batam, Indonesia, S Williams, Lenore T. Lyons, M Ford

Faculty of Arts - Papers (Archive)

Studies of sexuality and the Internet have focused on how the web provides individuals with opportunities to perform new sexual acts and establish new sexual communities, thus challenging heteronormative models of sexuality. But Internet bulletin boards and chat rooms can also provide a medium for the recuperation and performance of forms of hetereosexual masculinity that have become marginalised and rendered unacceptable in the offline world. Faced with the challenges of the globalised economy and changing expectations about gender roles in the public and private spheres, some men seek to reclaim power over women through the performance of a hyper-sexualised subjectivity ...


Internalized Boundaries: Aware’S Place In Singapore Emerging Civil Society, Lenore T. Lyons Jan 2008

Internalized Boundaries: Aware’S Place In Singapore Emerging Civil Society, Lenore T. Lyons

Faculty of Arts - Papers (Archive)

In the foundational narratives that members of the Association of Women for Action and Research (AWARE) tell about the organisation’s formation, many topics remain (to echo the state’s vernacular) ‘out-of-bounds’. In this paper I examine the ways in which AWARE members construct their own ‘OB markers’ in telling the history of AWARE. The constructedness of this history in itself is not remarkable. In telling stories about themselves and others, we expect situated actors to re-construct and re-present the past. In this paper, however, I argue that during its first decade of activism the process of delineating the boundaries ...


L’Organisation Au Service Des Droits Des Travailleurs Migrants: Le Militantisme Transnational À Singapour Et En Malaisie, Lenore T. Lyons Sep 2007

L’Organisation Au Service Des Droits Des Travailleurs Migrants: Le Militantisme Transnational À Singapour Et En Malaisie, Lenore T. Lyons

Faculty of Arts - Papers (Archive)

La mondialisation marque un point charnière dans l’action des militantes féministes et des organisations non gouvernementales. À la faveur d’une participation à des réseaux de lobbying transnationaux et d’alliances avec des organisations non gouvernementales internationales, des organisations féministes et des organisations vouées à la défense des droits des femmes, locales et nationales, se sont converties à de nouvelles formes de militantisme transnational. Cependant, il est une question qui n’a que très peu retenu l’attention des chercheurs dans le domaine de l’organisation féministe transnationale : c’est celle du lien entre le militantisme transnational et les ...


Making The Most Of What You’Ve Got: Sex Work And Class Mobility In The Riau Islands, M Ford, Lenore T. Lyons May 2007

Making The Most Of What You’Ve Got: Sex Work And Class Mobility In The Riau Islands, M Ford, Lenore T. Lyons

Faculty of Arts - Papers (Archive)

The islands of Batam, Bintan and Karimun on the Indonesian border with Singapore and Malaysia have an extensive sex industry which caters predominantly to foreign visitors. This paper explores the place of ‘sex as work’ for women involved in the industry and the opportunities for class mobility that sex work may present to them. We argue that these opportunities are the product of the Riau Islands’ particular spatiality, including a geographical proximity to Singapore and Malaysia, and a pattern of migration which has seen large numbers of temporary and long-term transmigrants from throughout the archipelago moving in and out of ...


Dignity Overdue: Women’S Rights Activism In Support Of Foreign Domestic Workers In Singapore, Lenore T. Lyons Apr 2007

Dignity Overdue: Women’S Rights Activism In Support Of Foreign Domestic Workers In Singapore, Lenore T. Lyons

Faculty of Arts - Papers (Archive)

The forces of globalisation increasingly compel feminist activists to engage internationally, either through their involvement in transnational networks and social movements, or by incorporating understandings of the ‘global’ into local and national activist practices. However, as differently situated actors with diverse agendas and priorities come together to address women’s rights within a transnational frame they face a range of challenges and contradictions. Rather than simply transcending the ‘national’, transnational feminist activists must pay particular attention to the roles played by nation-states and national governments in mediating the relationship between local and transnational groups. Amongst the issues they must consider ...


A Curious Space ‘In-Between’: The Public/Private Divide And Gender-Based Activism In Singapore, Lenore T. Lyons Jan 2007

A Curious Space ‘In-Between’: The Public/Private Divide And Gender-Based Activism In Singapore, Lenore T. Lyons

Faculty of Arts - Papers (Archive)

In Singapore, the state’s role in shaping the space of civil society has been well documented. Many scholars argue that civil society in Singapore is largely a state-sanctioned sphere of engagement that has emerged in response to middle-class pressure for greater political liberalization. In these accounts, the space of civil society is described as an arena that is shaped by the state, and in which the state constantly intervenes. What is less clear, however, is how the space of civil society is gendered. Through an analysis of women’s activism in Singapore, this article deconstructs the binaries ‘public/private ...


The Borders Within: Mobility And Enclosure In The Riau Islands, M Ford, Lenore T. Lyons Jan 2006

The Borders Within: Mobility And Enclosure In The Riau Islands, M Ford, Lenore T. Lyons

Faculty of Arts - Papers (Archive)

The border studies literature makes a strong case against claims for unfettered transnationalism and ‘borderlessness’ in our ‘globalizing world’. However, its focus on movement across borders means that it fails to address bordering practices that occur within the nation state as a result of transnational activity. In this paper we extend Cunningham and Heyman’s concepts ‘enclosure’ and ‘mobility’ to confront the different layers of bordering (both physical and non-physical) that have occurred in Indonesia’s Riau Islands since they became part of the Indonesia-Malaysia-Singapore Growth Triangle (IMS-GT).


Sold And Stolen: Domestic 'Slaves' And The Rhetoric Of 'Protection' In Darwin And Singapore During The 1920s And 1930s, Claire Lowrie Jan 2006

Sold And Stolen: Domestic 'Slaves' And The Rhetoric Of 'Protection' In Darwin And Singapore During The 1920s And 1930s, Claire Lowrie

Faculty of Arts - Papers (Archive)

Introduction: This paper contemplates the similarities in the working lives of two very different girls.1 It focuses on part descent Aboriginal girls of Darwin working as domestic servants in European homes, and the mui tsai or girl slaves2 of Singapore working for Chinese families. These girls share the common experience of being removed from their families, trafficked a great distance from their homes and forced into domestic service. This paper will consider the common governmental responses to these girls in terms of “protection”. For the mui tsai protection involved potential rescue from forced domestic service. For part-Aboriginal girls, protection ...


Transient Workers Count Too? The Intersection Of Citizenship And Gender In Singapore’S Civil Society, Lenore T. Lyons Oct 2005

Transient Workers Count Too? The Intersection Of Citizenship And Gender In Singapore’S Civil Society, Lenore T. Lyons

Faculty of Arts - Papers (Archive)

In November 2002, a group of Singaporean activists established a group called The Working Committee 2 (TWC2) to advocate for the rights of foreign domestic workers in Singapore. By limiting both its lifespan and the scope of its activities the TWC2 avoided the requirement that all NGOs formally register under the Singapore Registrar of Societies. At the end of its year-long campaign, however, the group signalled its intention to continue with its advocacy work. The new TWC2 (now called Transient Workers Count Too) was registered in August 2004. For some commentators, the TWC2 represents a new phase in the People ...


Moving Beyond The Ob Markers: Rethinking The Space Of Civil Society In Singapore, Lenore T. Lyons, J. Gomez Oct 2005

Moving Beyond The Ob Markers: Rethinking The Space Of Civil Society In Singapore, Lenore T. Lyons, J. Gomez

Faculty of Arts - Papers (Archive)

In January 2004, prior to his appointment as Singapore’s third Prime Minister, Lee Hsien Loong gave a landmark speech to the Harvard Club of Singapore in which he outlined a new style of statesociety relations. Claiming that “I have no doubt that our society must open up further”, Lee emphasized that one of the important tasks facing the government was to “promote further civic participation, and continue to progressively widen the limits of openness” (Lee 2004). In his comments, Lee sought to signal a break between the ruling style of former Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong, and himself.1 ...


A Politics Of Accommodation: Women And The People’S Action Party In Singapore, Lenore T. Lyons Jun 2005

A Politics Of Accommodation: Women And The People’S Action Party In Singapore, Lenore T. Lyons

Faculty of Arts - Papers (Archive)

For the first time since achieving Independence in 1965, women now make up more than 10% of parliamentary representatives in Singapore. While this figure still lags behind international benchmarks, it is a significant improvement on the last election in which women made up less than 5% of MPs. This article explores the factors that led to the increase in women’s parliamentary representation. I examine the attitudes of senior leaders within the ruling People’s Action Party (PAP), as well as recent constitutional reforms, including the introduction of the Nominated Members of Parliament (NMPs) scheme, and the creation of a ...


Embodying Transnationalism: The Making Of The Indonesian Maid, Lenore T. Lyons Jan 2005

Embodying Transnationalism: The Making Of The Indonesian Maid, Lenore T. Lyons

Faculty of Arts - Papers (Archive)

Extract: Female domestic workers are emblematic of the increasing movement of peoples across national borders. The global economic and cultural flows associated with transnational migration play a significant role in shaping the construction of gender in both sending and receiving countries by creating new forms of subjectivity and community, and destabilising traditional national boundaries. The interplay between local expressions of gender relations, and macro-level global processes, is central to the processes of nation-building and nationalism. This paper examines the material and discursive practices that produce foreign domestic workers as ‘symbolic border guards’ (Armstrong) between ‘here’ and ‘there’, between ‘us’ and ...


Sexing The Nation: Normative Heterosexuality And The ‘Good’ Singaporean Citizen, Lenore T. Lyons Jan 2004

Sexing The Nation: Normative Heterosexuality And The ‘Good’ Singaporean Citizen, Lenore T. Lyons

Faculty of Arts - Papers (Archive)

Extract: What does it mean to sex a nation? In the discourses surrounding nationalism, nations frequently take up gendered positions – as ‘motherlands’ or ‘fatherlands’, with their leaders as the ‘mothers’ or the ‘fathers of the nation’. In the family of the nation, gendered subjectivity is built around heterosexual reproductive relations in which men and women perform their ‘natural roles’ within families2. Where the language of nationalism reveals the gender of the homeland as female (Britannia, Mother India), the nation-as-woman is built on a particular image of woman as chaste, dutiful, daughterly or maternal” (Parker et al. 1992: 6). And yet ...


Organizing For Domestic Worker Rights In Singapore: The Limits Of Transnationalism, Lenore T. Lyons Jan 2004

Organizing For Domestic Worker Rights In Singapore: The Limits Of Transnationalism, Lenore T. Lyons

Faculty of Arts - Papers (Archive)

Extract: This article examines the limits of transnational feminist activism through a case study of domestic worker rights in Singapore. This work builds on my decade-long research on the feminist movement in Singapore and my activist involvement in the Singaporean women’s organisation, the Association of Women for Action and Research (AWARE). I argue that the Singaporean state inhibits attempts by local feminist organizations to engage transnationally (either through links with international NGOs, or by confronting the forces of globalization locally). Singaporean activists have creatively responded to these challenges, but their actions remain constrained by the imperatives of the nation-state.


Negotiating Difference: Singaporean Women Building An Ethics Of Respect, Lenore T. Lyons Jan 2001

Negotiating Difference: Singaporean Women Building An Ethics Of Respect, Lenore T. Lyons

Faculty of Arts - Papers (Archive)

Extract: The problem of difference emerged as a significant issue in western feminist theory making during the 1980s-1990s. In response to claims that western feminism ignored the lives and voices of third world women1, attention was increasingly been placed on the need to forge broad-based coalitions that embrace difference and commonality. But, in the call to build coalitions, little work focused on the meaning of difference in the everyday lives of feminist activists; how do feminists work with women who are different to themselves? In this paper I examine the lives of women who belong to the Singaporean feminist organisation ...


Re-Telling ‘Us’: Researching The Lives Of Singaporean Women, Lenore T. Lyons Jan 2001

Re-Telling ‘Us’: Researching The Lives Of Singaporean Women, Lenore T. Lyons

Faculty of Arts - Papers (Archive)

Extract: Feminist scholars have long been interested in the politics of speech acts. Early calls for a ‘feminist methodology’ were premised on a claim that in order to overcome the bias of malestream science, women should write about their own lives and experiences. Feminists asserted that androcentrism had as much to do with who was conducting the research as what was under investigation. Growing criticism that feminists themselves had replicated such practices in their writings about ‘other’ women signalled a renewed interest in the politics of speech. This interest is based on an acknowledgment that women are “not politically equal ...


A State Of Ambivalence: Feminism And A Singaporean Women’S Organisation, Lenore T. Lyons Mar 2000

A State Of Ambivalence: Feminism And A Singaporean Women’S Organisation, Lenore T. Lyons

Faculty of Arts - Papers (Archive)

There has been some interest in recent years in identifying the features or characteristics of an ‘Asian’ or ‘Third-World’ feminism (Moraga and Anzaldua 1983; Jayawardena 1986; Grewal et al. 1988; Mohanty 1991; Basu 1995; Alexander and Mohanty 1997). Part of this concern has focused on a costs-benefits analysis of Asian women ‘coming out’ as feminists in overtly hostile political climates. For many women embracing the identity ‘feminist’ continues to be a difficult process. Caught within multiple and shifting discourses that serve to inscribe place, allegiance and behaviour, being a feminist is not only an expression of individual political belief, but ...


Disrupting The Center: Interrogating An ‘Asian Feminist’ Identity, Lenore T. Lyons Jan 2000

Disrupting The Center: Interrogating An ‘Asian Feminist’ Identity, Lenore T. Lyons

Faculty of Arts - Papers (Archive)

The problem of ‘difference’ has emerged as a significant issue in western feminist theory making during the past two decades. In response to claims that mainstream feminism has ignored the lives and voices of third world women and women of colour, attention has increasingly been placed on the ways in which class and ‘race’ intersect in the everyday lived experiences of women. This work has sought to displace the hegemonic control of white, western women in the production of feminist knowledge. Despite a growing body of literature on women’s movements throughout the Asian region, however, common-sense perceptions of Asian ...


The Limits Of Feminist Political Intervention In Singapore, Lenore T. Lyons Jan 2000

The Limits Of Feminist Political Intervention In Singapore, Lenore T. Lyons

Faculty of Arts - Papers (Archive)

In recent years increasing attention has focused on the Singapore government’s new attitude towards limited public participation in civil society. The women’s rights organisation the Association of Women for Action and Research (AWARE) is one example of a nongovernment organisation (NGO) that is directly engaged in this newly emerging ‘civic’ society. AWARE’s activities are constrained, however, by a state demand that its objectives remain overtly ‘non-political’ and reformist in character. This has led some observers to comment that as a state-defined practice, feminism in Singapore is unable to address issues of structural inequality and difference.


Believing In Equality: The Meanings Attached To ‘Feminism’ In Singapore, Lenore T. Lyons Jan 1999

Believing In Equality: The Meanings Attached To ‘Feminism’ In Singapore, Lenore T. Lyons

Faculty of Arts - Papers (Archive)

There have been a number of attempts in recent years to define the nature and character of ‘Asian feminism’. This article examines the way that Singaporean women who belong to the women’s organisation AWARE (Association of Women for Action and Research) understand the label ‘feminist’, both as a descriptor of their own political practice as well as that of the association. This study shows that for these women, claiming a feminist identity is fraught. Women in AWARE are caught between a public perception of feminism based on a western model, as well as the Singapore state’s own political ...


The ‘Graduate Woman’ Phenomenon: Changing Constructions Of The Family In Singapore, Lenore T. Lyons-Lee Oct 1998

The ‘Graduate Woman’ Phenomenon: Changing Constructions Of The Family In Singapore, Lenore T. Lyons-Lee

Faculty of Arts - Papers (Archive)

The central role of the family in state discourses of social change has been well documented in the case of Singapore. Within this discourse, the state has sought to strengthen the family as a key social structure and, while relegating the family to the realm of the ‘private”, has sought simultaneously to construct its own vision of family life. Women occupy a central role in this discourse of ‘state fatherhood” - they are both the mothers of the nation and the imparters of core cultural and national values. In recent years, in an attempt to address a perceived rejection of these ...