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Our Problematic “SES” Responses Reveal More Than The Guidebook Itself

Yet our collective response reveals a poor understanding (or perhaps wilful disregard) of SES as a comparative measure to understand structural, socio-economic policy problems in Singapore, and the response is especially problematic when the “lower SES” label – either erroneously taken on by individuals who do not belong to that level or foisted upon different activities or behaviours – is somehow perceived as a badge of honour. Instead of acknowledging that there are Singaporeans who struggle to get by and for whom “lower SES” or poverty is an everyday reality, the disbelief and the memes have not translated into substantive discourse. In fact commentaries such as “So what if I’m of a lower SES?”, published by the Singapore Kindness Movement (SKM), epitomise our complicity and apathy. Continue reading