Sociology Argumentative Essay Examples
In her article, Brenda Yeoh talks about sideways or upwards cosmopolitanism. She relates her concepts of argument on the labor, talent, and marriage migrations in the globalizing Singapore city-state. She also talks about the relationship between migration, the cosmopolis, and social diversity. According to her, in many of the globalizing cities across Asia, the concept of migration is conceived as an elemental measure to handle the issues of population aging, economic competitiveness, and labor shortages (Yeoh, 2013). She focuses on Singapore as an example of a city-state, which has become reliant increasingly on both low skilled and high skilled labor migrations, and to a given increasing degree, the migration in marriages, to enhance its bid to becoming a cosmopolis, with an occupancy of a significant portion of the globalized economy (Huang and Yeoh, 2005). Brenda discusses both the civil and state-society relationships, and arrangements, which to different ways and different extents present a variety of opportunities and constraints with the cosmopolitan emergence (Lin, 2012). While the migration history of Singapore and the multi-racial legacies provide a certain framework for the building of cosmopolitan sensibilities, it provides an avenue ridden with different considerable contradictions, as the state forges its globalized future.
Brenda refers to Singapore as provisional cosmopolis. She uses this phrase to refer to the relationship between the elements of cosmopolitanism, social diversity and migration in the city-state of Singapore (Lin, 2012). That is; cosmopolis of Singapore is provisional because it encompasses other elements, which are social diversity and migration (Yeoh, 2013). According to Gustavo Ribeiro, cosmopolitanism is a notion epitomizing the need of the social agents to conceive the cultural and political entities (Wong, 2000). Gustavo adds that cosmopolitanism presupposes the positive attitudes towards the elements of difference, which is a desire to establish broad allegiances and peaceful and equal global communities of individuals who should have the capacity of communicating across social and cultural boundaries forming the Universalist solidarity (Huang and Yeoh, 2005).
Cosmopolitanism as an Element of Diversity in Singapore
Since the development of the city as an emporium of trading, Singapore has associated itself with elements of cosmopolitan landscape, culture, and demography. Singapore is a cosmopolitan city with landscape gardens as well as high-rise buildings (Yeoh, 2013). It has a significant blend of cuisine, culture, architecture, and arts (Wong, 2000). The mixture of the diversity of elements, including, migration, multiculturalism, the concept of pluralism, and nationality contribute to the provisional cosmopolis in Singapore (Huang and Yeoh, 2005). The city-state is undergoing a period of transformations in some of the elemental sectors of the economy, politics, and society (Lin, 2012). The integration of these elements contributes to the formation of the city-state as a provisional cosmopolis. These elements have variant postulations and concepts that drive the city-state. That is; the operations of the state are dependent on these aspects (Lin, 2012).
Migration in Singapore encompasses a variety of elements. The first aspect is talent migration. In the developmental city-state like Singapore, migration is an elemental variable that the government tinkers systematically to calibrate the economy of the city continually as well as its relationship with the transitional capital (Yeoh, 2013). The ability of Singapore to attract and retain the highly skilled managerial, entrepreneurial, and professional elite migrants is an essential plank in the re-engineering of Singapore to compete efficiently and effectively in the globalized and knowledge-based economy (Huang and Yeoh, 2005). These talent workers or migrants referred to as foreign talent in the context of Singapore are also deemed as an asset class, which plays an essential, role in sustainability, innovation, and creativity in the emergent Singaporean economy (Lin, 2012). In order to attract more of the foreign talent and retain it, it is elemental to remake the city-state of Singapore as a cosmopolitan region (Huang, 2003). That is; talent migration is an essential rationale for behind the projects led by the state to make the city a provisional cosmopolis (Wong, 2000).
`Labor migration is another important concept of provisional cosmopolis in Singapore (Lin, 2012). Since gaining its independence, Singapore has been dependent on the foreign labor to fuel the economic restructuring and development at each stage (Yeoh, 2013). The industrialization of the city-state has also been accompanied by the liberalization of the immigration policies to attract many semi-skilled and unskilled foreign labors in the domestic services, construction, and manufacturing industries (Wong, 2000). The economic restructuring of the city-state prompted the transition from the emphasis on manufacturing and production to higher skills as well as growth in the financial and service sectors (Huang and Yeoh, 2005).
Pluralism is another elemental concept of cosmopolitanism. It is related to other cosmopolitan regions and societies (Huang and Yeoh, 2005). Pluralism refers to a state or region where the ethnic and racial minorities are distinct, but they have their social parity (Yeoh, 2013). In the pluralist societies, the categories of people are different socially, but they share the basic resources equally more or less (Lin, 2012). In these societies, the dominant group of individuals adopts more flexible approaches to the ethnic relations (Wong, 2000). That is; pluralist societies create a give-and-take relation. For instance, in the case of Malaysia, the Indian and Chinese ethnic minorities are handled and treated almost equal to the dominant Bumiputera or Malay group (Chee, and Vu, 2013).
The ethnic groups are allowed to perform and practice their religion and culture. In addition, they have the voting rights in the national and state elections (Wong, 2000). There are instances where problems and demands arise for more rights (Yeoh, 2013). Nevertheless, such demands are negotiated privately or sometimes publicly (Lin, 2012). For instance, the demands of the Chinese for the addition of Chinese vernacular learning institutions was turned down by the government claiming that it would detract from the set national objectives as well as create a chauvinist community of the Chinese (Huang and Yeoh, 2005). Pluralism is an example of cosmopolitanism.
Multiculturalism in Singapore
For the multiculturalism in Singapore, there is a strong existent desire for more integrated approaches to national identity and ethnic relations (Huang and Yeoh, 2005). The response of the government has been opposite, which suggests that although the various communities and ethnic groups may identify themselves as some of the Singaporeans, there is a strong desire amongst most of these communities to preserve their heritages (Yeoh, 2013). It has been considered that the disconnection between the different ethnic groups is governed by several rules and regulations, which hold the peace in ephemeral approaches that are devoid of the social glue (Lin, 2012). Despite the existence of the compulsory national services for the young individuals as well as the ritual pledge taken by the school students daily, there is still no commitment to the concept of multiculturalism (Wong, 2000).
Singapore has a lasting and firm belief in the practices of meritocracy and pragmatism that have enabled the country to develop and experience elemental progress in the economic sector from being a developing county to a developed country (Yeoh, 2013). Another cosmopolitan society with the same element of ethnocentrism is Malaysia with its bumiputra policy (Lin, 2012). The policy outlines the elevated status of the Malays while providing them with privileges that the other races have no access. As such, the policy builds the sense of solidarity among the Malays and cements their loyalty to their country (Wong, 2000).
The concept of multiculturalism in Singapore encompasses a variety of elements including the concepts of multiculturalism, social diversity, pluralism, and migration. With the increase of these concepts, especially fueled with increased globalization and industrialization in Singapore, the future of cosmopolitanism in Singapore is likely to encompass more aspects of migration, social diversity, and multiculturalism. That is; the future itself is dependent on these elements. For this reason, the city-state is likely to be more diversified in its operations and functions as a provisional cosmopolis. Additionally, the increase in the globalization is likely to cause more migrations to the city-state. As such, the future of cosmopolitanism in Singapore is largely dependent on the elements of globalization. Should it favor the city-state, it is likely that cosmopolitanism is going to increase considerably, and its effects extend to other societies and regions associated with Singapore.
Chee, H. L. and Vu, T. K. D. (2013) ‘Commercially Arranged Marriage and the Negotiation of Citizenship Rights among Vietnamese Marriage Migrants in Multiracial Singapore’, Asian Ethnicity, 14/2: 1–18.
He, B. and Brown, K. M. (2012) ‘An Empirical World of Cosmopolitan Asia’, in Delanty,G. (ed.), Routledge Handbook of Cosmopolitanism Studies, pp. 427–42. Abingdon: Routledge.
Huang, S. (2003) ‘ “Foreign Talent” in our Midst: New Challenges to “Sense of Community” and Ethnic Relations in Singapore’, in Lai, A. E. (ed.), ‘Beyond Rituals and Riots’ Ethnic Pluralism and Social Cohesion in Singapore, pp. 316–38. Singapore: Eastern Universities Press for Institute of Policy Studies.
Huang, S. and Yeoh, B. S. A. (2005) ‘Transnational Families and Their Children’s Education: China’s “Study Mothers” in Singapore’, Global Networks, 5/4: 379–400.
Lin, W. (2012) ‘Cosmopolitanism in Cities and Beyond’, in Delanty, G. (ed.), Routledge Handbook of Cosmopolitanism Studies, pp. 208–19. Abingdon: Routledge.
MITA (Ministry of Information and the Arts) (2000) The Renaissance City Report. Singapore: MITA.
Wong, D. (2000) ‘Men who Built Singapore: Thai Workers in the Construction Industry’, in Chantavanich, S., Germershausen, A. and Beesey, A. (eds), Thai Migrant Workers in East and Southeast Asia, pp. 58–105. Chulalongkorn: Asian Research Center for Migration.
Yeoh, B. A. (2013). ‘Upwards’ or ‘Sideways’ cosmopolitanism? Talent/labour/ marriage migrations in the globalising city-state of Singapore. Migration Studies, 1(1), 96-116. doi:10.1093/migration/mns037
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