An Ethnographic Survey of Language Use, Attitudes and Beliefs of Singaporean Daoist Youths
21 Pages Posted: 20 Jul 2010
Date Written: July 19, 2009
This paper focuses on the active Daoist youths (ages 15 to 30) of Singapore as youths are the parents, decision-makers, business people and leaders of tomorrow. Their behavior, attitudes and beliefs affect the political, economic and social future of a nation. During this phase, religion or more generally, religiosity has begun to play a large part upon how these young adults view the world. Important questions of identity and meaning are formed during this period. However, research on religious development in youth is a much neglected area, as can be observed by the lack of research and surveys available. The study takes an interdisciplinary approach by incorporating the contributions of linguistics, political economy, history and sociology so as to provide a wider and more balanced analysis. Data was collected from interviews and questionnaires on 19 active Daoist youths, participant observation and focus-group discussion. Questions of interest in this study include: What, for example, is the basis of choice of a speaker’s religious ideology? How does a youth define Daoism? Who are the Daoist youths in Singapore? How do they define Daoism? What are their social cultural backgrounds? What are their aspirations? How much does a youth know about Daoism? What are their language(s) of communication? Of special interest is the study of the rise of world languages such as English and Mandarin at the expense of Chinese dialects.
Keywords: Daoism, youths, Singapore, attitudes, beliefs, ethnography
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