Taking ideas and frameworks from philosophy, psychology, political science, cultural studies and anthropology, this book tells the larger ‘truth’ about the Singapore state. This book argues that this strong hegemonic state achieves effective rule not just from repressive policies but also through a combination of efficient government, good standard of living, tough official measures and popular compliance.
Souchou Yao looks at the reasons behind the hegemonic ruling, examining key events such as the caning of American teenager Michael Fay, the judicial ruling on fellatio and unnatural sex, and Singapore’s ‘war on terror’ to show the ways in which the State manages these events to ensure the continuance of its power and ideological ethos.
Lively, and well-written, this book discusses key subject areas such as:
- leftist radicalism and communist insurgency
- nation-building as trauma
- Western ‘yellow culture’ and Asian Values
- judicial caning and the meaning of pain
- the law and oral sex
- food and the art of lying
- cinema as catharsis
- Singapore after September 11.
About the Author
Souchou Yao is Senior Lecturer in Anthropology at the University of Sydney. He has published widely in international journals and is the author of Confucian Capitalism: discourse, practice and the myth of Chinese enterprise.
Table of Contents
Preface and acknowledgements xi
The magic of the Singapore State 1
Trauma and the 'culture of excess' 28
'Yellow culture', white peril 50
Pain, words, violence: the caning of Michael Fay 75
Oral sex, natural sex and national enjoyment 97
'Talking cock': food and the art of lying 121
I Not Stupid: localism, bad translation, catharsis 140
The nation after history 159
Epilogue: useless pragmatism 178