HomeAsia-Pacific Social Science Reviewvol. 16 no. 3 (2017)

Bonding and Autonomy: A Critical Discourse Analysis of Singaporean Youths’ Internet Use and Identity Politics in Amos Yee’s YouTube Videos

Rhoderick V. Nuncio

Discipline: Social Science



The study aims to define and critically assess Singaporean youths’ Internet use through “bonding” and “autonomy” using the data presented in the Singapore’s National Youth Council report in 2015. Bonding as an analytical concept implies social interaction which forms cohesion, ties, and relationship with others via the Internet. Autonomy meanwhile specifies personal freedom to express oneself and a commitment towards participating online and/or offline in socio-political discussions and activities. Using critical discourse analysis (CDA), the paper interrogates the dominant social order and how it operates within economic, political, and discursive contexts by examining a counter discourse presented in two of Amos Yee’s YouTube videos. It also seeks to illustrate how identity politics of the youth may have the power to critique this social order within the realm of the Internet or how it may fail in the light of Singapore’s experience.