The Homogenised Urban Environment and Locality

C. J. W.-L. Wee

in The Asian Modern

Published by Hong Kong University Press

Published in print October 2007 | ISBN: 9789622098596
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9789882207509 | DOI:
The Homogenised Urban Environment and Locality

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This chapter examines how the state's extensive modernist housing programmes and decontextualized urbanism became a major component of Singapore's socio-cultural engineering. In the chapter, the reactions of these housing programmes incurred reactions which were documented in the arts and in the independent films of the 1990s. For instance, Eric Khoo's Twelve Storeys depicts the social dysfunctionality of the city-state's less-globalized citizens living in public housing blocks. These films examined the problematic and bizarre aspects of non-élite life as well as introduced the use of Mandarin-Chinese and the suppressed Hokkien-Chinese. They served as attempts to re-assert and reinvent the concept of “locality” despite the efforts of the government to deterritorialize and project a happy-clappy modern Singapore.

Keywords: housing programme; decontextualized urbanism; Singapore; socio-cultural engineering; locality; deterritorialize

Chapter.  10189 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Society and Culture

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