Dr Nicki Tarulevicz has just published an article "Hawkerpreneurs: Hawkers, Entrepreneurship, and Reinventing Street Food in Singapore" in a special issue the Brazilian journal RAE-Revista de Administração de Empresas, edited by Historian Jeffrey Pilcher and Krishnendu Ray.
The Hawker Centre is an icon of contemporary Singapore and an essential element of national identity, but one that has undergone multiple reinventions. Most recently hawking has repeatedly been presented as approaching crisis, prompted by an aging hawker population. The response of the Singapore government has been to begin another historic transformation of the hawker, focusing on the hawker entrepreneur – the hawkerpreneur. Ahead of reinvention, codification of knowledge about hawking was required and provided by museum exhibitions and cultural celebrations in media. The hawker became romanticized, a figure of history, distanced from an emergent next generation. These new hawkers are imagined by public and private interests as being successful entrepreneurs and glamorous, suit-wearing people. A change in status for hawking, achieved by a new image and structural changes, such as rankings by Michelin, are being used to signal this new phase of Singaporean street food.