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Liew, Warren Mark Cheng Yi
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This dissertation investigates teacher and student identities and subjectivities in Singapore through media representations and interviews. With the aim of understanding the social, material and cultural bases for their formation and construction, this study examines the representation of students and teachers in a variety of locally produced media texts including policy statements, print and video advertisements, social media sites, and interviews. Central to the theoretical framework for this study are the concepts of neoliberalism and governmentality. Within the political economy of teacher professionalism, neoliberal principles advocate a spirit of enterprise and capitalist individualism, while the workings of governmentality refer broadly to strategies deployed by the state to compel teachers’ self-regulation of their professional identities. The political rationality stemming from neoliberalism and governmentality that privileges certain teacher subjectivities based on the imperatives of competition, profits, and capital accumulation, which may conflict with the educational goals of democracy, individual agency, and social justice. In Singapore, the routine deployment of diverse discourses ranging from economic pragmatism as well as pastoral caring bolsters neoliberal imaginaries to harness the self-disciplinary and self-enterprising energies of teachers within the educational marketplace. This research study employs a combination of research methods and traditions which include critical discourse analysis, literary criticism, architectural analysis, and cultural studies. The analytic tools and methods allow for an interrogation of the ideological forces at work in media constructions of teacher subjectivities in the Singaporean cultural imaginary. By attending to the discursive workings of media communications in online social networking sites, this interpretive study will further explore the possible forms of citizen resistance against the allegedly hegemonic forces of neoliberal governmentality. It rejects the argument that the State’s power is sovereign and argues instead that ideological hegemony is precarious given the arts of resistance enabled by the advent of online social media.
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LC94.S55 Jos
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Appears in Collections:Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

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