Race, reintegration, and social capital in Singapore

A/Prof Narayanan Ganapathy1

1National University Of Singapore, ,

Social capital, or the lack of, has variously been acknowledged as contributing to criminal and delinquent behavior among certain groups in society. It has rarely been employed to explain why ex-offenders are unable to break free from recalcitrant behavior and reintegrate into society. We argue that Indians and Malays, as racial minorities in Singapore and disproportionately represented in the prison and re-offending population, are significantly less likely to achieve reintegration than those who belong to the Chinese majority. Because Singapore is a highly racialized society, the effect of race on recidivism and rehabilitation is clearly identifiable. Understanding racial structuration by taking into account the differential impact of a hierarchically organized network of social relationships is central to this argument. For such vulnerable groups, social capital plays a critical role. The uneven distribution of ethnic capital restricts the ability of the Indians and Malays and enables the Chinese to achieve acceptance into the mainstream.


Biography:

Narayanan Ganapathy is an Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology at the National University of Singapore. He has a Ph.D. in Sociology from the National University of Singapore. He is concurrently an Associate Dean at the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. He is also an Adjunct Professor of Law with the School of Justice, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia.

Prof Ganapathy’s research and teaching interests are criminology, sociology of crime and deviance, sociology of law and policing, juvenile justice, criminal gangs and domestic violence. Prof Ganapathy has won numerous teaching awards and was given the NUS Outstanding Educator Award in 2010. Prof Ganapathy has published extensively in various international journals such as,  The Australian and New Zealand Journal of Criminology, Policing and Society, International Journal of Comparative and Applied Criminal Justice and Journal of Criminal Justice, among others. He is also a member of the Editorial Boards of The European Journal of Criminology, The Asian Journal of Criminology and The International Journal of Comparative and Applied Criminal Justice.

Prof Ganapathy sits on the ministerial committees of the Ministry of Home Affairs, Ministry of Social and Family Development, Ministry of Defence, and Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth. He is also a Member of the National Council Against Drug Abuse and the Indian Community Aftercare Council, and serves as an academic consultant to the Singapore Police Force. He has conducted courses for the Attorney-General Chambers, Central Narcotics Bureau, Singapore Prisons Service, SINDA, MENDAKI, and among others. Prof Ganapathy is the Chairman of the HEB-Ashram Halfway House, a role he undertakes in his capacity as a member of the Hindu Endowments Board.

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