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Impact of host country policies on the overseas Chinese family in Singapore and Malaysia

Yap, K.ORCID: 0000-0002-9901-2612 (2010) Impact of host country policies on the overseas Chinese family in Singapore and Malaysia. In: 35th Annual Meeting of the Macromarketing Society: Exploring the Frontiers of Macromarketing, 9 - 12 June 2010, University of Wyoming, Laramie

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The purpose of this paper is to provide an account of changes in the family construct of the Singaporean Overseas Chinese resulting from migration, settlement, and public policy. The family institution then changes in response to family policy, so that today it bears little resemblance to the traditional blueprint. Differences between the family institutions of the three major racial groups in Singapore have emerged as a result of discriminatory policy pressures. The Singaporean government has used family planning policies to create the ideal social structure and human resource capital, possibly at the expense of Malays and women with less education. The fate of the Overseas Chinese family institution in Singapore may also differ to its counterpart in Malaysia. In Malaysia, the pro-Malay affirmative action program has contributed to a dramatic reduction in Overseas Chinese fertility, whilst creating unintended consequences that are not easily reversible. Both examples lend credence to the “minority status hypothesis” on family planning. The paper concludes with issues for macromarketing scholars to ponder.

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