Inequities Faced by Singaporean Migrant Workers Amplified by Group Polarization

Photo by Hu Chen on Unsplash

How did the culture in Singapore develop to reject these transient workers?

In the 1980s, foreign workers began to come to Singapore to fill the jobs that Singaporeans themselves are unlikely to be willing to take (at least not at the low-wage migrant workers currently receive). Implicit bias considers the prejudices that we all have but are not aware of. It is human and it is natural to be afraid of people who are different than us. When there was a great influx of foreigners, many Singaporeans felt threatened.

What can we do to fight group polarization?

Social media, especially as machine learning is improving, are only intensifying the effects of implicit bias and group polarization. If you want diverse opinions, you have to actively seek them out. One recommendation for fighting group polarization is to find content that introduces different perspectives and life experiences. HealthServe, the organization I interned with a couple years back, posts a lot of content like this on their Instagram and Facebook pages. An example in print is Parliament Member Louis Ng who put up posters of domestic workers and foreign workers and their stories.

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Natalie Hawley

Natalie Hawley

I write about the relationship between food and culture in the places I visit as well as general musings about living a better life. | nataliemhawley.com