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Marrying from 'Asia' to Singapore: gendered and ethnicized citizenship

Chen, Tingting LU (2010) SIMT16 20101
Graduate School
Master of Science in Social Studies of Gender
Abstract
This thesis is to look into media representation on issues that involve female marriage migrants, in particular, in relation to citizenship, in Singapore, one of the most popular destinations of marriage migration in Asia. Categorized and labeled as “foreign brides” in Singapore, these foreign-born women have long suffered from biased or one-dimensional
representation in the local media, particularly, when the representation denotes to their citizenships. The purpose of this study is to unveil stereotypical narratives and discourses underlying local media coverage that portrays and/or reinforces these women as “others”, and to explore how issues of citizenship are gendered and ethnicized, through media
communication, in the case of... (More)
This thesis is to look into media representation on issues that involve female marriage migrants, in particular, in relation to citizenship, in Singapore, one of the most popular destinations of marriage migration in Asia. Categorized and labeled as “foreign brides” in Singapore, these foreign-born women have long suffered from biased or one-dimensional
representation in the local media, particularly, when the representation denotes to their citizenships. The purpose of this study is to unveil stereotypical narratives and discourses underlying local media coverage that portrays and/or reinforces these women as “others”, and to explore how issues of citizenship are gendered and ethnicized, through media
communication, in the case of foreign brides. Three research questions are raised in the study: 1) How are narratives of female marriage migrants’ life trajectories (re)narrated by local media? 2) How have female marriage migrants been represented in Singaporean media in relation to reproduction, labor and the nation-building? and 3) How is citizenship centralized in these representations?

Empirical materials this study resorts to include eighteen pieces of newspaper articles and two images – all published on mainstream newspapers in Singapore during 2009, as well as the webpage of a Singapore-based matchmaking agency. Studies on these materials consist of
a narrative study and discourse analysis. One typical pattern of media narrative and three problematic discourses are observed: 1) Narratives on foreign brides are constructed in accordance with normative values and conventional imagination about women’s “marrying up” in transnational marriage. They tend to be one-dimensional and reflect the lack of women’s self-agency in the narration. 2) A “third-world” Asia representing poverty and backwardness has been constructed as opposed to Singapore, and serves as the ideological basis of state control in citizenship entitlement of foreign-born spouses. 3) Foreign brides’ citizenship is subordinated to the definition of desirable “mothers of the nation”, in which foreign-born women from “backward” countries are considered to represent the bottom of women as a whole. 4) Various institutions analogize marrying Singaporean men to an “occupation”, which further disadvantages foreign brides in marriage and familial affairs during the economic recession. (Less)
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author
Chen, Tingting LU
supervisor
organization
course
SIMT16 20101
year
type
H2 - Master's Degree (Two Years)
subject
keywords
Economic difficulties, the Nation, Reproduction, Foreign bride, Citizenship, Narrative, Discourse
language
English
id
1612845
date added to LUP
2010-06-30 09:36:04
date last changed
2010-06-30 09:36:04
@misc{1612845,
  abstract     = {This thesis is to look into media representation on issues that involve female marriage migrants, in particular, in relation to citizenship, in Singapore, one of the most popular destinations of marriage migration in Asia. Categorized and labeled as “foreign brides” in Singapore, these foreign-born women have long suffered from biased or one-dimensional
representation in the local media, particularly, when the representation denotes to their citizenships. The purpose of this study is to unveil stereotypical narratives and discourses underlying local media coverage that portrays and/or reinforces these women as “others”, and to explore how issues of citizenship are gendered and ethnicized, through media
communication, in the case of foreign brides. Three research questions are raised in the study: 1) How are narratives of female marriage migrants’ life trajectories (re)narrated by local media? 2) How have female marriage migrants been represented in Singaporean media in relation to reproduction, labor and the nation-building? and 3) How is citizenship centralized in these representations?

Empirical materials this study resorts to include eighteen pieces of newspaper articles and two images – all published on mainstream newspapers in Singapore during 2009, as well as the webpage of a Singapore-based matchmaking agency. Studies on these materials consist of
a narrative study and discourse analysis. One typical pattern of media narrative and three problematic discourses are observed: 1) Narratives on foreign brides are constructed in accordance with normative values and conventional imagination about women’s “marrying up” in transnational marriage. They tend to be one-dimensional and reflect the lack of women’s self-agency in the narration. 2) A “third-world” Asia representing poverty and backwardness has been constructed as opposed to Singapore, and serves as the ideological basis of state control in citizenship entitlement of foreign-born spouses. 3) Foreign brides’ citizenship is subordinated to the definition of desirable “mothers of the nation”, in which foreign-born women from “backward” countries are considered to represent the bottom of women as a whole. 4) Various institutions analogize marrying Singaporean men to an “occupation”, which further disadvantages foreign brides in marriage and familial affairs during the economic recession.},
  author       = {Chen, Tingting},
  keyword      = {Economic difficulties,the Nation,Reproduction,Foreign bride,Citizenship,Narrative,Discourse},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Marrying from 'Asia' to Singapore: gendered and ethnicized citizenship},
  year         = {2010},
}