The Singaporean Way of Life
Mrs. Candice Ferrel
February 14, 2013
The Singaporean Way of Life
Singapore is a diverse mix of many ethnic, religious, and socio-economic groups, cohabitating together to create a single Industrialist society. In exploring the unique properties of this Industrialist society, I will focus on the Singaporean family structure, the political establishment and laws, and the economic stability of this country. Singapore is a small country located on a grouping of small islands, toward the south tip of the Malaysian Peninsula. It has a combined area mass about four times smaller than the state of Delaware, but is considered one ...view middle of the document...
Throughout many research studies on Singapore, the family structural dynamics are ever changing as the nation meets the demands of the industrialized nations growth and prosperity. In one such study, The Power of Work in the Family states, "The central role paid work plays in contemporary society has pushed family formation as a priority life goal into the background for most young adults" (Straughan, 2004, p. 48). One of the key elements weighing on the contemporary family, as explained by Straughan is that business has adopted a full time schedule of operations and this concept is in stark contrast with the ancestral values of family. This philosophy in business has developed a mentality among the young to strive for the materialistic; this thought creates a view of society differently than past generations and thus the younger society prefers to postpone the thought of family (Straughan, 2004). This monetary value on marriage and time can cause consideration between raising a family and taking time off paid work. The government’s attempt at thwarting this view of family values is a new concept that is at the forefront of governmental policy (Straughan, 2004).
As the Singapore government designed rules and regulation early in the nation’s history to curb the national growth rates, the consequences to family structures resulted in unpredictable outcomes. Early in the country’s history, the government adopted a population strategy aimed at controlling the population growth and had created guidelines to limit families to two children (Fong & Lim, 1982). The research studies show dramatic rates of decline in fertility, with the rise of single parenthood, and women joining the fulltime workforce (Straughan, 2004). These contemporary families place work to the forefront of family values, by allowing paid work to dictate the appearance, time line, and the overall commitment to family. One example of family structural changes in culture is the fundamentals in courtship of the perspective spouses, as the research article Celebrating Families in Singapore noted, “potential partners in life are now found through the workplace or friends rather than through the family; the match is often one of strangers with little commonality of backgrounds” (Weston & Hayes, 2004, p. 84). In many Asian cultures, it is customary for family’s involvement in the selection and arrangement of marriages among the offspring. The Asian culture holds a high regard for the balance and devotion within the family structure (Weston & Hayes, 2004). All of these factors have hindered the cultural ancestral values of family being a vital part of the society.
As the Singapore nation grows, fertility and family structure are pressing problems for the government to deal with, throughout its role in legislating toward a long-term goal that will maintain a better lifestyle for the country. The recent adoption of new legislative initiatives aimed at strengthening the fertility...