Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10497/19724
Title: 
Desiring ‘foreign talent’: Lack and Lacan in anti-immigrant sentiments in Singapore
Authors: 
Keywords: 
Singapore
Foreign talent
Immigration
Psychoanalysis
Lacan
Xenophobia
Issue Date: 
2018
Citation: 
Yang, P. (2016). Desiring ‘foreign talent’: Lack and Lacan in anti-immigrant sentiments in Singapore. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 44(6), 1015-1031. https://doi.org/10.1080/1369183X.2017.1384157
Abstract: 
In recent years, the Singapore government’s pro-immigration policy – specifically, its recruitment of so-called ‘foreign talent’ – has caused a palpable rise in anti-immigrant sentiments and discourses among natives of the city-state. Drawing on Lacanian psychoanalysis, a perspective so far marginal in migration research, this article offers a provocative reading of Singapore’s desire for foreign talent and the local society’s reception of these subjects. The article focuses on the ways in which frustrated Singaporeans seem to find foreign talent immigrants, especially those from mainland China, to be lacking and undesirable. Lacan’s theories enable the bold interpretations that: 1) foreign talent is not meant to fill a lack but precisely to produce it and 2) foreign talent stands for Singapore’s and Singaporeans’ unobtainable object of desire, which ultimately signifies the gaps and inconsistencies in the symbolic order confronting them. Moving away from existing conceptual frameworks and theoretical approaches, the article illustrates what a psychoanalytic lens of desire can contribute to migration and mobility research.
Description: 
This is the final draft, after peer-review, of a manuscript published in Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies. The published version is available online at https://doi.org/10.1080/1369183X.2017.1384157
URI: 
ISSN: 
1369-183X (print)
1469-9451 (online)
Other Identifiers: 
10.1080/1369183X.2017.1384157
Appears in Collections:Journal Articles

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