On the margins of the "Economic Miracle": Non English-literate Chinese Factory Workers in Singapore, 1980 - 1990

Ernest Koh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

While the writing of Singapore's "history from below" has begun to gain momentum inacademic circles, there is still a considerable lack of understanding about the contributionsand experiences of the ordinary person to the city-state's remarkable growth after 1965. InSingapore's broader historiography, the success of the nation's economy is commonlyattributed to the genius and foresight of key personalities, or in more recent times, thespirit of entrepreneurship by a select few. Thus, the non English-literate Chinese factoryworker in Singapore currently only exists in a marginalised space in Singaporean historicaldiscourse, in spite of their role in Singapore's transition "from Third World to First," touse the parlance of Lee Kuan Yew. Through the use of collective reminiscence andbiography, this paper seeks to present the lives of the workers in narrative. In doing so, itaims to solicit an alternative, Chinese working-class account of the "economic miracle"epoch.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)466-493
Number of pages27
JournalJapanese Journal of Southeast Asian Studies
Volume44
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2007
Externally publishedYes

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