Graduation Year

Spring 2014

Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis



Second Department


Reader 1

Seo Young Park

Reader 2

Rita Roberts

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© 2014 Sharmishtha Gupta


This thesis is an anthropological and historical exploration of Singapore's emergence as a nation state and determines what it means to have a Singaporean national identity today. As a relatively new country, Singapore and its government has worked to carefully construct its national identity in the past fifty years after independence from the British in 1965. This thesis will show Singapore as a distinctive entity in the study of nationalism and nation building, especially in comparison to the decolonization efforts of other countries in the region and throughout the world in the twentieth century. It is a carefully constructed nation state, and its distinctiveness lies in the authoritarian government's neo-colonial policies, its economic success due to its capitalist system, semi-democratic political environment, and its multiethnic population.

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.