Skilling the nation, empowering the citizen
Neoliberal instantiations in Singapore’s lifelong learning policy
This paper focuses on what is referred to as the SkillsFuture initiative as the most current crystallization of the Singapore government’s lifelong learning policy, and the state-sponsored discourse associated with it. Adopting a critical discourse-analytic approach, the study examines a data set that cuts across various genres and media (i.e. political speeches, Internet website, video clips), covering both linguistic and (moving) visual instantiations, involving semiotic features like pronouns, modality, image design parameters, and importantly, metaphor. The paper seeks to provide insight into the ideological foundations of Singapore’s education-labour policies as an indication of the ideal(ized) Singaporean citizen-subject promulgated by the state, and how these are semiotically instantiated in state-sponsored discourse. In so doing, the analysis also considers the contextual specificity of the neoliberal-oriented values purveyed, as the individualizing tropes of neoliberalism discursively interact with what might be considered a post-Confucian Singaporean communitarian/collective ethos.
Keywords: neoliberal subjectivity, policy discourse, policy communication, lifelong learning, labour policy, discourse analysis, metaphor, Singapore
Published online: 03 November 2017
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Cited by 4 other publications
E, Marissa K. L.
Jalalian Daghigh, Ali & Hajar Abdul Rahim
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