Coming Up: Teo You Yenn’s This is What Inequality Looks Like

The book against the backdrop of a Singapore Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) train—a ‘basic’ comfort denied Singapore’s low-income classes.

Ever since I made the decision to no longer finish reading books that don’t enrich me out of obligation, 2019 has been quite the year of extremely valuable reads so far.

In particular, Teo You Yenn’s This is What Inequality Looks Like, which I’m currently making my way through, has been mind-blowingly eye-opening.

Based on her years of fieldwork and research with the low-income in Singapore, this compilation of essays reveals in detail their daily lives and struggles. This includes everything from mobility, to the education system, to individual choices within the system at large. Through much well-researched probing, Teo lays out the systemic disadvantages that intentionally/unintentionally work to keep the low-income low-income and asks poignant questions to readers, inviting them to think critically about both the problem and the solution.

Singapore is a country that goes above and beyond in order to perpetuate its autobiographical narrative as a first-world country with a stellar rags-to-riches story. For that, Teo’s book is an extremely necessary call for Singaporeans to look at the immense inequality still present amongst us, and how this inequality is deliberate and almost necessary to the sustainability of the current system.

In a world where ignorance and/or turning a blind eye has become the preferred mode of comfort, Teo’s This is What Inequality Looks Like is a crucial interjection into society’s normative narratives.

If you want to keep up with my upcoming book review, do read this book along with me! You can preview the first chapter here.

As always, happy reading!

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