This chapter examines the evolving nature of language and identity in post-Reform Indonesia by investigating the use of language variation to instigate and resolve ethnic-national tensions in online forums. We show how language variation emerges against the backdrop of the semiotic registers already established in Indonesia by examining a discussion of ethnicity begun on Twitter and continued in the online forum Kaskus. These discussions often entail the strategic elevation of the ethnic self and the strategic denigration of the ethnic other and we illustrate how language variation is implicated in either strategy. We conclude that the internet provides yet one more periphery through which New Order ideologies of language become “re-imagined” and “de-naturalized” in the post-Reform era. Thus, through the internet, the local, ethnic self may explore and resolve tensions around what it means to be a member of the wider, Indonesian community, and how one can or should align with the role of “diverse Indonesian”.
|Title of host publication||Contact Talk|
|Subtitle of host publication||The Discursive Organization of Contact and Boundaries|
|Editors||Zane Goebel, Deborah Cole, Howard Manns|
|Place of Publication||Abingdon Oxon UK|
|Number of pages||19|
|ISBN (Print)||9781138370746, 9781138370753|
|Publication status||Published - 2020|