Aspirations, Christianity, and young adulthood in Singapore (completed)

Jayeel Serrano Cornelio

Given its adoption of the developmentalist paradigm, Singapore has become an undeniably aspirational society. Singapore’s bureaucracy, its world-class education system, and capitalist drive have clearly fostered an ethos of achievement among its citizens. But what exactly constitutes their aspirations? And to what extent is religion significant to the formation thereof?

This is a study that aims to understand the aspirations of Christian young adults in Singapore today. In the hope of offering comparative nuances, a broad spectrum of informants will be targeted in this study: Catholics, traditional Protestants, and megachurch Christians. The main interest is in their aspirations, which are broadly defined in the literature as personal goals that drive individuals to behave in a particular manner in order to achieve them. In my study, I interrogate the aspirations of Christian young adults in three respects: 

  1. What are the individual aspirations of Christian young adults in Singapore today?
  2. Do Christian young adults have aspirations for Singapore as their nation?
  3. What does Christianity mean to these young adults?  And does religion play a role in the formation of their aspirations for themselves and Singapore as their nation?       

Young adulthood in this research is defined as the period that ranges from post-secondary education (18 years old) to the early career stage (late 20s). This wide range can be seen in terms of the transition towards full independence or family life. Studying the aspirations of young adults in Singapore today is worth pursuing because they are part of a generation that grew up witnessing the affluence of the city-state and the effectiveness of its government. This makes them distinct from the previous generations that underwent drastic socio-economic transitions.

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