Community still provides a rallying point for urban low-income residents of the off-street neighborhoods (kampung)
in Yogyakarta and in other cities of Java. However, the nature of community changed dramatically during the economic and political transition that followed the fall of the Soeharto regime in Indonesia. Under Soeharto, kampung
residents both cooperated in the supervision of their lives by the state and explored forms of sociality that gave some protection from collusion with the state. With the demise of the New Order and the rise of policies promoting decentralization, urban society changed under the impact of political reform, globalization, global and local patterns of consumerism, and kampung
expressions of community. Patrick Guinness, who began studying the kampung
settlements of Yogyakarta more than thirty years ago, examines these processes in terms of economic, political and ritual patterns, and from the perspectives of kampung
leaders and enterpreneurs, kampung
youth, formal and casual labor, and NGO volunteers working in these neighborhoods.
Where community was once examined on the basis of romantic and mistaken assumptions about the homogeneity and compactness of what are often disparate collections of neighbors, more recently it has been seen as a construction of the nation-state in its bid to control and develop its citizens, as a construction of the local populace in their negotiations with or in opposition to the state, and as a mechanism enabling local residents to cope with the pressures of state and market demands. Each of these interpretations has merit but if slavishly followed distorts the complex relations of kampung people with the state.
47 illus.For sale in Asia, Australia, and New Zealand by NUS Press (Singapore)ASAA Southeast Asia Publications Series
Author: Guinness, Patrick;Patrick Guinness
is reader and head of the School of Archaeology and Anthropology and convenor of development studies in the Faculty of Arts, Australian National University. He was previously a researcher and lecturer at the University of Indonesia and Gadjah Mada University.