Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10497/20447
Title: 
Authors: 
Keywords: 
Meritocracy
Parentocracy
Private supplementary tutoring
Singapore
Issue Date: 
2017
Citation: 
Tan, C. (2017). Private supplementary tutoring and parentocracy in Singapore. Interchange, 48(4), 315-329. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10780-017-9303-4
Abstract: 
Drawing on Brown (in Br J Sociol Educ 11(1):65–86, 1990) and Barrett DeWiele and Edgerton (in Interchange 47:189–210, 2016), this article explores the relationship between private supplementary tutoring and parentocracy using Singapore as an illustrative case study. It is argued that the ubiquity and affordability of private supplementary tutoring in Singapore indicate that parentocracy is embraced by the majority of parents who seek to give their children a competitive edge. Among the parents, better-educated parents with higher incomes adopt a more proactive interventionist parenting style by paying more for both academic and non-academic enrichment classes. The phenomenon of parentocracy has contributed to educational inequalities in Singapore as children from more privileged home backgrounds have access to more educational resources and opportunities. But the inequalities engendered by parentocracy are mitigated by high-stakes exams that
ensure that admission to elite schools is still largely determined by exam results rather than the wealth and wishes of parents. This study offers a nuanced account of private supplementary tutoring through highlighting its diversity and appropriation by different parents in Singapore. The study also illustrates the co-existence of
parentocracy and meritocracy where private supplementary tutoring is strategically utilised by parents in Singapore to give their children an equal opportunity to excel in terminal exams.
Description: 
This is the final draft, after peer-review, of a manuscript published in Interchange. The published version is available online at http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10780-017-9303-4
URI: 
ISSN: 
0826-4805 (print)
1573-1790 (online)
Other Identifiers: 
10.1007/s10780-017-9303-4
Appears in Collections:Journal Articles

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