What is the "profile" of your neighbourhood? Do you fit in?

Yes, it matters more than you think. And quite often, in an opposite way that you would imagine. The essence can be summarised in figures 1a and 1c. The results from Singapore are no different from the rest of the world: middle-upper class neighbourhoods provide a psychological buffer to the vulnerable families; economically needy individuals living in these neighbourhoods feel protected as far as their quality of life is concerned. This privileged environment however, also amplified class consciousness among the vulnerable individuals by means of social comparisons with their privileged neighbours; the disadvantaged feel the pinch in class differentiation.

This is the challenge we face today. How to encourage social mixing in a diverse neighbourhood, but also ensure that the interaction is meaningful.

Some of our built features can make a difference, but that will be a story for another day...

This article is not possible without the generous support of Prof Tan Soo Jiuan and Prof Siok Kuan Tambyah, both from the NUS Biz School. I am grateful for their support, always.

Leong, C.H., Tan, S.J., Minton, E.A., & Tambyah, S.K. (2021). Economic hardship and neighbourhood diversity: Influences on consumer well-being. Journal of Consumer Affairs, 55(4), 1226-1248 (IF: 1.733).

$2.27 million for five-year SUSS study into how Singaporeans use their time

The Straits Times

Ng Wei Kai

SINGAPORE - Researchers from the Singapore University of the Social Sciences (SUSS) will be conducting a five-year study into how Singaporeans use their time.

The project will involve 1,000 families or about 3,000 individual participants, SUSS said at a funding presentation ceremony on Monday (Aug 16).

SUSS will seek to understand how Singaporeans' routines and rituals have been changed by the pandemic and its restrictions on social activity and how caregiving arrangements for the young and old are evolving.

Living with Covid-19 means having to adjust our lives to the changes that come with it - especially regarding work and the economy. In my chat with Dr Daniel Seah, lecturer at SUSS School of Law, we talked about self-reliance for the future generation as they enter new phases of life during this tough time.

This is part of the SUSS podcast series, Future Social, that explores issues which are rapidly and profoundly changing our lives on the social, cultural and economic fronts.

Have a listen and let me know what you think!

#SUSS #SUSSpodcast