Singapore’s Little Vietnam as a heterosexual quarter within the hierarchical ordering of space

Kieran Edmond James*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The aim of this paper is to look at the social and cultural geography of Joo Chiat Road aka Little Vietnam in postcolonial Singapore and assess its effectiveness as a subaltern cultural space. In one way, it is low in the hierarchical ordering of space, a long cross-street between two popular shopping areas at each end. Joo Chiat Road might be perceived as an urban village with its upper-middle-class residential streets on either side suffering a disconnect with the large number of Vietnamese hostess pubs and cafes on the road itself. It may be seen as a “heterosexual quarter,” but of a type where the lifestyle proclivities of the hostess pub participants are seen as marking them out as a strange and deviant “species,” which must be kept behind closed doors. In the case of the hostesses, they are also marked out as different on the grounds of race/ethnicity.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAsian Geographer
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 11 May 2024

Keywords

  • geographies of sexualities
  • heterosexual quarter
  • hierarchical ordering of space
  • hostess pubs
  • Joo Chiat Road

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