Si Geena” (Brat): Un-Social Digital Juveniles’ Episodic Resistance in Singapore

In: Asiascape: Digital Asia
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  • 1 Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
  • | 2 Curtin University, Perth, Australia

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Abstract

This paper explores episodes of provocative online articulations and the accompanying angry public reactions as part of the cultural politics of juvenile online resistance in contemporary Singapore. Rather than viewing such delinquency as ‘youth deficits’, this paper seeks a literary-culturalist standpoint in exploring the uninhibited audacity of these public online displays. We perceive such performances as reflecting the critical and socially unrestrained emotional subjectivities of ‘youth mirroring deficits’ of the ‘Emperor’s new clothes’. The authors propose to appropriate the colloquial Singaporean Chinese Hokkien term of Si Geena (brat), a label commonly used to describe these offending personalities, to frame the dynamics of youth resistance, and new media in Singapore. Si Geena are often un-social digital juvenile provocateurs baiting moral outrage and public indignation. In turn, societal responses to the Si Geena’s episodic resistance reveal the contradictions, insecurities, and volatility of Singapore’s reactive public.

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