Skip to main content

Colonial Logics and the Journey from the Third World to the First, and Back Again

  • Chapter
  • First Online:
Talking About Global Inequality
  • 521 Accesses


Tung-Yi Kho is a Research Fellow at the Centre of Cultural Research and Development at Lingnan University in Hong Kong. He has a PhD in Social Anthropology from SOAS, London and obtained a PhD in Cultural Studies from Lingnan University, Hong Kong. Prior to this, he had training in Economics, Political Economy, and Sociology in Australia and in the United States. He is a founding member of the Global University of Sustainability ( and an editorial board member of Decolonial Subversions ( In this contribution, Kho shares his reflections on the rapid changes experienced by his home country, Singapore, in the 1980s and 1990s. Through the lenses of someone who had lived in different geographies, he also problematizes the concepts of ‘First World’ and ‘Third World’ that he first came into contact with while growing up in Southeast Asia.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this chapter

USD 24.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Available as EPUB and PDF
  • Read on any device
  • Instant download
  • Own it forever
Softcover Book
USD 32.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Compact, lightweight edition
  • Dispatched in 3 to 5 business days
  • Free shipping worldwide - see info

Tax calculation will be finalised at checkout

Purchases are for personal use only

Institutional subscriptions

Similar content being viewed by others


  1. 1.

    Credit Suisse Research Institute, Global Wealth Report, 2021. (Visited 15 November 2021).

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Tung-Yi Kho .

Editor information

Editors and Affiliations

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

Copyright information

© 2023 The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG

About this chapter

Check for updates. Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this chapter

Kho, TY. (2023). Colonial Logics and the Journey from the Third World to the First, and Back Again. In: Christiansen, C.O., Machado-Guichon, M.L., Mercader, S., Hunt, O.B., Jha, P. (eds) Talking About Global Inequality. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham.

Download citation

  • DOI:

  • Published:

  • Publisher Name: Palgrave Macmillan, Cham

  • Print ISBN: 978-3-031-08041-8

  • Online ISBN: 978-3-031-08042-5

  • eBook Packages: Social SciencesSocial Sciences (R0)

Publish with us

Policies and ethics