For too long, the study of Indonesia has been narrowly focused on its political and economic institutions and elite. Even when culture is taken seriously, academic studies tend to concentrate on “traditional,” “ethnic,” or “folk” cultures or the avant-garde or “high” cultures. The everyday life, where popular culture permeates, is significantly understudied.
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.
Heryanto, Ariel (2018) “Popular Culture and Identity Politics”, in R. Hefner (ed.) Routledge Handbook of Contemporary Indonesia, London: Routledge, pp. 357-368.
keywords: gender, Islam, Javanese, Jokowi, media, nationalism, SBY