Understanding low stream graduates experiences in meritocratic Singapore. (2023)
Type of ContentTheses / Dissertations
Degree NameDoctor of Philosophy
This thesis is a qualitative study focusing on school leavers’ perspectives of their journey in Singapore’s meritocratic education system and the correlations with their life course circumstances. Through the lenses of social constructionism, the study analyses participants’ retrospective understanding of their past experiences and how it has shaped their current opportunities. It takes an introspective insight towards the participants’ educational journey, their life choices, and their psychological well-being and attempts to make sense of these through a variety of theoretical lenses such as Bronfenbrenner’s (1979, 1989) Bio-ecological Model of Human Development and Process-Person-Context-Time (PPCT) model, Goffman’s (1963) Stigma Theory, and Rosenthal and Jacobson’s (1968, 1992) Pygmalion Effect Theory. The non-traditional thesis is designed in a narrative format to tell the stories of those systematically silenced and ignored by the meritocratic system in Singapore. Ahmad represents the participants, and his story unfolds with the rest of the thesis to provide the readers with an insightful connection to the participants’ collective experiences in meritocratic Singapore.
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