K. Shanmugam

This tag is associated with 12 posts

Please, Stop Throwing Anecdotes At Singapore’s Inequality And Class Divide Problems

The question, therefore, is not whether children from low-income families can make it to RI, become President’s Scholars, or succeed in life (answer: they can), but the proportion of children who actually do. Mapping out the extent to which these children and their families make it and the extent to which a level playing field exists – assuming that it is equity, not equality, we desire – are moreover useful for understanding the structural challenges they face. This also underlines a second opposition to the disproportionate emphasis on anecdotes (even well-meaning and meaningful ones): That structural problems demand structural solutions, not just piecemeal calls for changes in mindsets or stereotypes. Continue reading

Throwback: Hard To Ascertain Social Media Influence In Politics

With its proliferation, I was critical of the positive assessment of social media, and argued that the “tangible influence of social media in politics will only be evident if they dabble in meaningful socio-economic commentary”. Continue reading

Hard To Ascertain Social Media Influence In Politics

Social media may have increased propinquity between politicians and their constituents – heightening that sense of nearness and immediacy – but that does not necessarily guarantee “dialogic communication” or a “cooperative and communicative relationship” (ST, Jun. 20). After all, such phenomena seem more applicable for personal interactions, not parliamentarians with a large following. More broadly speaking, it is hard to ascertain the influence of social media in politics, and even harder to determine whether social media engagement has tangible impact: to “legitimise government decisions, promote a co-sharing of the ownership for shaping policies, [or] increase citizen trust”. Neither have they been able to “navigate online clutter and make sense of the information and signals they are sent”. Continue reading