Racial stereotypes in Singapore films: Commercial value and critical possibilities

Research output: Chapter in book/report/conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Commercial films in Singapore present numerous instances of stereotypes that mimic an uncritical knowledge of social life, reinforcing this knowledge by further obscuring the unequal relations of power, repressions, tensions and contradictions that advanced capitalist-industrial society constantly endeavours to subsume (Tan 2008). The pleasures that stereotypes, especially racial stereotypes, give audiences make them primary materials in the production of lucrative light entertainment. Propelled by the profit motive of the culture industry, racial stereotypes are circulated and re-circulated in ways that naturalize ‘common-sense’ theories of racial hierarchies and practices of racial discrimination, mostly inherited, in Singapore’s case, from colonial ideologies of race. Through popular light entertainment, racist expressions in the private and public spheres are naturalized and even legitimized as audiences relate pleasurably to onscreen racial stereotypes in complex processes of subject formation.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRace and Multiculturalism in Malaysia and Singapore
EditorsDaniel P.S. Goh, Matilda Gabrielpillai, Philip Holden, Gaik Cheng Khoo
Place of PublicationLondon
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)9780203878170
ISBN (Print)9780415482257, 9780415625401
Publication statusPublished - 10 Jun 2009

Publication series

NameRoutledge Malaysian Studies Series


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