Transnational migrations and plural diversities

Encounters in global cities

Authored by: Brenda S.A. Yeoh

Routledge Handbook of Asian Migrations

Print publication date:  December  2017
Online publication date:  January  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138959859
eBook ISBN: 9781315660493
Adobe ISBN:


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Contemporary postcolonial migration is a compelling force increasing diversity in globalising Singapore. Processes of enclavement and encounter along a spectrum of self/other divides occur alongside those of selective acculturation and negotiated coexistence as people with different histories and geographies meet and take stock of one another in the constant (re)making of plural diversities in the city of migration. While civility in public spaces is often taken to be the key litmus test for private prejudices and moralities, it is equally important to rethink the politics of diversity and migrant encounter in private spaces, where ‘the other’ may be ‘strange’ and ‘unfamiliar’, but may well be ‘intimate’ and even ‘familial’. The case of Singapore as a rapidly globalising city-state is drawn upon in this chapter to illustrate three themes of salience in understanding local-migrant encounters: the politics and paradox of postcolonial encounters; coexistence and control in transient spaces of enclavement; and intimate encounters in the home-spaces of the city.

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