Youth Identities and Social Transformations in Modern Indonesia


Youth Identities and Social Transformations in Modern Indonesia addresses current struggles and opportunities facing Indonesia’s youth across the archipelago. Contributions to this volume delve into youth aspirations and their everyday lives - education; friendship; work; leisure; sexuality; religion - described through the lens of the young people themselves. They are well educated but employment is hard to find: alternative paths to adulthood can include early marriage or joining street protest movements. In public rhetoric youth is often associated with ‘moral panics’ related to sexual morality, and also to violent religious identities and street protests.

The authors include leading scholars of Indonesia and its youth, reporting on ethnographic research from across the archipelago.
Contributors are: Linda Rae Bennett, Patrick Guinness, Noorhaidi Hasan, C. Ugik Margiyatin, Pam Nilan, Lyn Parker, Kathryn Robinson, Patricia Spyer, Puju Semedi, Ben White, Tracy Wright Webster.
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Biographical Note

Kathryn Robinson, PhD (1984) Australian National University is Professor of Anthropology at that University. She has published widely on Indonesia. Her books include Gender. Islam and Democracy in Indonesia (Routledge 2009) and Asian and Pacific Cosmopolitans (Palgrave 2007).

Table of contents

List of Tables and Figures
Preface: Being Young in Indonesia, Kathryn Robinson

Section 1: Studying Indonesia’s Youth: The Big Picture
Chapter 1: Generation and Social Change: Indonesian Youth in Comparative Perspective, Ben White
Chapter 2: Contemporary Indonesian Youth Transitions: Trends and Inequalities, Pam Nilan, Lyn Parker, Kathryn Robinson and Linda Bennett

Section 2: Education—Securing Youth Futures?
Chapter 3: Teenage Experiences of School, Work, and Life in a Javanese Village, Ben White and C. Ugik Margiyatin
Chapter 4: Educational Aspirations and Inter-generational Relations in Sorowako, Kathryn Robinson

Section 3: Friendship, Growing up, and Peer Surveillance
Chapter 5: Pouring out One’s Heart: Close Friendships among Minangkabau Young People, Lyn Parker
Chapter 6: Pramuka: Scouting Days of Fun, Pujo Semedi

Section 4: Performing Youth in Space and Time
Chapter 7: Dwindling Space and Expanding Worlds for Youth in Rural and Urban Yogyakarta, Patrick Guinness
Chapter 8: Local Modernities: Young Women Socializing Together, Pam Nilan

Section 5: Performing Masculinity, Claiming the Street
Chapter 9: Streetwise Masculinity and Other Urban Performances of Postwar Ambon: A Photo-Essay, Patricia Spyer
Chapter 10: Violent Activism, Islamist Ideology, and the Conquest of Public Space among Youth in Indonesia, Noorhaidi Hasan

Section 6: “Moral Panics” and the Health of the Nation
Chapter 11: The Ongoing Culture Debate: Female Youth and Pergaulan (Bebas) in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, Tracy Wright Webster
Chapter 12: Young Sasak Mothers—“ Tidak Manja Lagi”: Transitioning from Single Daughter to Young Married Mother in Lombok, Eastern Indonesia, Linda Rae Bennett



The book is of interest to scholars in Youth Studies, Anthropology, Asian Studies and Gender Studies. The papers are suitable for undergraduate and postgraduate teaching and relevant to practitioners working on youth issues, especially in Asia.

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