Popular Culture and Identity Politics

Ariel Heryanto

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    This chapter contends that an in-depth investigation into identity politics in popular culture is a critical component to studying the social life of this world’s fourth most populated nation. It shows how elite national politics and everyday cultural practices and contestations are mutually constitutive in complex and indirect ways, with a focus on identity politics in contemporary Indonesia as manifest in popular cultures.

    For too long the study of Indonesia has been narrowly focused on its political and economic institutions and elite, at the expense of other issues of concern experienced by the majority of its citizens. Even when culture is taken seriously, academic studies of Indonesia tend to concentrate their inquiry around three types: the so-called “traditional,” “ethnic,” or “folk” cultures, the state-sanctioned official version of national culture, or the avant-garde or “high” cultures of the nation’s intelligentsia. The everyday life is understudied.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationRoutledge Handbook of Contemporary Indonesia
    EditorsRobert W. Hefner
    Place of PublicationAbingdon Oxon UK
    Number of pages12
    ISBN (Electronic)9781315628837
    ISBN (Print)9781138644427
    Publication statusPublished - 3 Jan 2018


    • popular culture, identity politics, Islam

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