Negotiating Multiculturalism: Disciplining Difference in by Nirmala Srirekam Purushotam

By Nirmala Srirekam Purushotam

Initially released as Negotiating Language, developing Race, 1998, within the sequence titled Contributions to the Sociology of Language, seventy nine, sociologist Nirmala Srirekam PuruShotam discusses language as a social phenomenon, focusing in particular at the configuration of kingdom in Singapore. Annotat

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Extra resources for Negotiating Multiculturalism: Disciplining Difference in Singapore

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I should add that it is clear in the census discussions that the lists of races were not yet firm, even by the time of the 1947 census. The experts cited and used were apparently aware of what they recognised as gaps in their knowledge. What was clear was that for these experts the races in Singapore were larger than the umbrella categories under which they were organised, for census simplification. In this way, "Europeans and Americans", "Malays and Other Natives of die Archipelago", "Chinese", and "Tamils and Other Natives of India" were used, as clearly indicated in the census reports, as shorthands by which the largesse of census information could be made manageable.

One of the most obvious choices I made was to interview parents with children in Singapore schools. These interviews were conducted between 1982 and 1983. Additionally, to further contextualise Language, I also referred to biographical material comprising interviews with members within two to three generational families, such that the talk about language became more understandable embedded as it was in interactors' personal and family histories. I also found it useful to comb through the narrational biographical material I had collected, on a 24 'Nation' and 'Race' project pertinent to the Indian trading community in Singapore.

Hidup-lah Bangsa! ('Long live the language! 2. 83 These are the Straits Chinese; and direct immigrants from China and their Straits-born offspring. The Straits-Chinese comprised a smaller but very significant group of Chinese migrants to Singapore. They came to Singapore from the Riau Islands, and Malacca in the Malayan Peninsular long before the British arrived to control Singapore. 84 Intermarriage and close social and economic interaction with the Malays resulted in the development of a Malay dialect the Baba Malay language.

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