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Conclusion: Living with Globalization Tactically

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Singaporeans need not be told what globalization means. The popular media, as well as the political leaders of Singapore, have generated a “local-babble” of the derivative meanings of globalization. That globalization means “competitiveness”, ‘innovation”, “creativity”, “entrepreneurship”, and “foreign talent”, has therefore become deeply enculturated and embedded in the Singaporean consciousness. The Prime Minister's 2002 National Day address to the nation is one recent example where the old faithful rhetoric of globalization is again reiterated. In that speech, he reminded Singaporeans of the “growing economic competition” and “regional challenge”, and in particular, the competition posed by the “rising dragon” (i. e., China). At the same time, he also urged Singaporeans to “welcome international talent”, “be realistic”, “be entrepreneurial” and be a “creative society”. The Prime Minister's speech is, in essence, instructive of how Singapore lives with globalization (tactically).

I prefaced this concluding chapter with the above “local-babble” on globalization to capture the significance of “globalization” in the socio-cultural and political matrix of the Singaporean context. It is precisely because of Singapore's idiosyncratic socio-cultural and political conditions, and the significance that it places on globalization, that provided this book with a fertile ground for study. This book is about Singapore and the way it experiments with globalization with calculated strategies which I call “tactics” and “tactical globalization”. More specifically, education and schooling have been examined in relation to Singapore's experiment with globalization; afterall, schools are state ideological apparatus and disciplinary sites where the shaping of values and dispositions are cultivated to reproduce the kind of subject-citizens the small city-state needs in globalizing circumstances.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2010

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