This is What Inequality Looks Like - Teo You Yenn
What is poverty? What is inequality? How are they connected? How are they reproduced? How might they be overcome? Why should we try?
This book—an ethnography of inequality—addresses these questions. Formed by a series of essays, they are written to be read individually, but have been arranged to be read as a totality and in sequence. Each aims to accomplish two things: first, to introduce a key aspect of the experience of being low-income in contemporary Singapore. Second, to illustrate how people’s experiences are linked to structural conditions of inequality.
The way we frame our questions shapes the way we see solutions. This book does what appears to be a no-brainer task, but one that is missing and important: it asks readers to pose questions in different ways, to shift the vantage point from which they view ‘common sense,’ and in so doing, to see themselves as part of problems and potential solutions. This is a book about how seeing poverty entails confronting inequality. It is about how acknowledging poverty and inequality leads to uncomfortable revelations about our society and ourselves. And it is about how once we see, we cannot, must not, unsee.
Teo You Yenn received her PhD in Sociology from the University of California at Berkeley. She is Associate Professor and Provost's Chair in Sociology at Nanyang Technological University. Her work has been published in journals such as Economy and Society, Signs, Social Politics, and Development and Change. She is the author of Neoliberal Morality in Singapore: How family policies make state and society (Routledge, 2011). She is recipient of NTU’s Nanyang Education Award (2013) and the American Sociological Association Sex and Gender Section’s Feminist Scholar Activist Award (2016). In 2018, for her contribution to igniting a national conversation on poverty and inequality with the book This is What Inequality Looks Like (2018), she was named a Finalist in the Straits Times Singaporean of the Year Award.
SIRD. 2019. 309 pages. Paperback.