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  • Author or Editor: Crystal Abidin x

Crystal Abidin and Joel Gwynne

The making of the entrepreneurial self is a dominant trope of contemporary media culture, and a multitude of media formats across divergent national contexts showcase the contemporary obsession with media visibility and the attainment of celebrity status as the most aspirational form of social mobility. In Singapore, commercial lifestyle blogs are prime examples of entrepreneurial identity-making as websites almost exclusively created by young women, showcasing user-generated content oriented around the pleasures of consumption as a means of empowerment, self-actualisation and individualisation. By analysing content on a selection of blogs, this article aims to answer the following questions: To what extent are Singaporean women’s identities contingent upon material consumption as a means of identity creation? How do blogs created by women demonstrate an entrepreneurial investment in their appearance and feminine corporeality as the means of perceived empowerment, even at the expense of more formal and structured forms of individualisation, such as education?

Kai Khiun Liew and Crystal Abidin

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.