Sociologist Teo You Yenn has been named a finalist for Straits Times (ST) Singaporean of the Year 2018 for her book This is What Inequality Looks Like which is described as having ‘sparked a national conversation on socio-economic inequality in Singapore’.
The book is based on You Yenn’s three-year study which started in 2013 and involved speaking to over 200 people in their homes about their experiences and saw how class inequalities are embedded in education labour, care and welfare.
This is What Inequality Looks Like was one of the best-selling local books last year (2018) and has helped propel inequality to the forefront of discussions. Having had opportunities in her life, You Yenn knows she and other people have a responsibility to ensure that these opportunities are also available to others. She is walking the talk with new research on exploring how ordinary people think about basic needs
Sharing her response to being a finalist for ST’s Singaporean of the Year 2018, You Yenn thanked everyone who read the book and discussed the ideas for amplifying the shared aspiration for a better society.
In a post on the Facebook page of independent literary publisher Ethos Books who published her book, You Yenn said:
“As a writer, I cannot ask for more than I’ve received by way of enthusiastic readership. But as a member of society, I must and should ask for much more. Civic duty doesn’t end in a book or an award, and our actions cannot lead to transformation when we are mere individuals.”
She continued by urging Singaporeans to continue to push for change collectively as a society.