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[O] Social Studies Smart Guides

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  1. Issue 1: Exploring Citizenship and Governance

    1. What does it mean for me to be a citizen of my country?
    3 Topics
  2. 2. How do we decide on what is good for society?
    6 Topics
  3. 3. How can we work for the good of society?
    10 Topics
  4. Issue 2: Living in a Diverse Society
    4. What is diversity?
    4 Topics
  5. 5. Why is there greater diversity in Singapore now?
    3 Topics
  6. 6. What are the experiences and effects of living in a diverse society?
    3 Topics
  7. 7. How can we respond in a diverse society?
    5 Topics
  8. Issue 3: Being Part of a Globalised World
    8. What does it mean to live in a globalised world?
    4 Topics
  9. 9. How do we respond to tensions arising from some economic impacts of globalisation?
    3 Topics
  10. 10. How do we respond to tensions arising from some cultural impacts of globalisation?
    3 Topics
  11. 11. How do we respond to tensions arising from some security impacts of globalisation?
    4 Topics
Chapter 4, Topic 4
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4.4 Socio-economic status

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  • Another factor that shapes people’s identity is their socio-economic status.
  • Socio-economic refers to an economic situation shared by a group of people and some determinants are occupation, income, education and ownership of wealth.
  • One’s socio-economic status is usually determined by objective indicators which can be constructed from single or multiple measures.
  • In Singapore, an individual or household’s income level is used as the indicator for socio-economic status.
  • The socio-economic status of an individual may shape one’s life experience as it affects the choice of housing, food, entertainment and activities.
  • This will then influence the circle of friends that one interacts with.
  • Through hard work, an individual can move from lower to higher levels of income and this movement is called “social mobility”.

The Different Socio-economic Status Groups

Higher socio-economic status· Individuals can have a higher socioeconomic status in different ways.
· They could be born into a wealthy family or accumulated their wealth through work or investments.
· They usually have access to better housing, food vacations and modes of transport.
Middle socio-economic status· Individuals in this group are generally involved in jobs performed in offices and are also known as “white-collar” workers.
· A common term that is used to categorise jobs in this category is “PMETs”, referred to as professionals, managers, executives, and technicians.
Lower socio-economic status· Usually do not possess much wealth and at times, they do not have the financial means to fully support themselves.
· Many such individuals take on jobs that usually require manual labour or jobs which do not require much skill.
· These are sometimes referred to as “blue-collar” jobs.
· Those who are unemployed, homeless, or receive financial assistance from the government are another group who are of lower socioeconomic status.
  • There is concern that Singapore’s income gap is widening.
  • However, when taking into account the role of taxes and transfers by the government in terms of subsidies and assistance, the income gap has shrunk a bit in 2014.
  • Income gap is one factor shaping socio-economic diversity that can be seen in Singapore today.
  • Income inequality may result when income gaps between the higher and lower socio-economic groups widen over time.
  • In order for social mobility to happen, many measures have been put in place to support the needs of the lower socio-economic status groups, especially in the areas of healthcare and education financing
  • It is important that these two areas are well supported as they enable people in lower socio-economic status groups to meet their basic needs and work towards improving their well-being and social mobility.