Tiger Mums and Home Schoolers: Trajectories of Parents’ Educational Work in Contemporary Singapore

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstract


The size, structure and ‘quality’ of the population are issues of concern in contemporary East Asia, as the region is becoming enmeshed with the global economy, and competitiveness increasingly centers on ‘a fitting’ human capital. While Singapore is located in Southeast Asia geographically speaking, it is culturally linked to East Asia in terms of its heritage of Confucianism and the Chinese language. Singapore is a country famous for its careful social engineering, aimed at ensuring continuous economic growth and social stability. Education is a fundamental component of this engineering. Singapore is consistently scoring high in international student assessment tests, which is usually understood to be the result of a successful and competitive education system. While previous research sheds light on the pressure experiences by parents who seek to maximize their children’s chances at succeeding in such a competitive system, the ethnographic data presented in this paper illuminates a more complex and ambivalent picture in terms of how parents plan for their children’s education and development. The parenting trajectories presented in this paper shows a multitude of strategies among parents of pre- and primary school aged children, from the investment in private tuition after school hours to opting out of the formal school by home schooling the child.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Aug 3
EventSociety for East Asian Anthropology regional conference: East Asian Anthropology Now and into the Future: Transformations, Dynamics, and Challenges - Waseda University, Tokyo, Japan
Duration: 2019 Aug 22019 Aug 3


ConferenceSociety for East Asian Anthropology regional conference
Abbreviated titleSEAA

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Social Work


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