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CeMoRe Seminar - Designated Ethnic Areas in Singapore Tourism
Date: 16 November 2010 Time: 4.15 - 6.00 pm
Venue: IAS Meeting Room 2 & 3
Voon Chin Phua is an Associate Professor from Gettysburg College, USA and is currently a Visiting Fellow in the Centre for Mobilities Research, Sociology Department.
His research is mostly about family processes and dynamics from a life-course perspective. His research examines the effects of the intersections of sexuality, race and immigration, and has a broad geographic coverage, including the US, Singapore, Korea, Iceland, Brazil and Romania.His works have appeared in journals such as Sociological Methods and Research, Journal of Comparative Family Studies, Sex Roles, Journal of Family Issues, Journal of Cross-Cultural Gerontology, Journal of Intergenerational Relationships, and Men and Masculinities.
Attendees are invited to County Bar for a drink after the seminar.
Singapore is promoted heavily by the government as a multicultural society. In fact, in the late 1980s, three areas were designated as historical sites, representing three distinct and major ethnic groups in Singapore: Chinatown, Little India, and The Malay Village. The three ethnic groups together represent more than 90 percent of Singapore's ethnic/racial composition. Drawing on Goffman's idea of the distinction between an individual's virtual and actual social identity, we apply these concepts to the presentation of self by Singapore as a tourist destination. Our findings suggest that the presentation of Singapore as a multicultural society does not necessarily mean that each of these three ethnic groups have equal representation. Another important aspect is that these ethnic sites promote and recognize different cultural heritage. Yet, they also create a distinction between a Singaporean identity and an ethnic identity, a subtle difference but perhaps of critical importance to tourists seeking an authentic Singapore experience. Whether Singapore can maintain consistency in its virtual and actual social identities in terms of multiculturalism potentially impacts tourists' satisfaction in this respect.
Who can attend: Anyone
Keywords: Ethnic conflict, Ethnicity, Mobilities, Tourism
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