2016 Arryman Fellows: Ririn Kusuma, Bahram Naderil, Mirna Nadia, Aulia Nastiti, and Sari Ratri will present their year-long research papers and be recognized for their achievements. The Symposium will be held on Saturday, May 13th starting at 10:30am at the Buffett Institute. The Arryman Fellows and Arryman Scholars program, funded by ISRSF in Jakarta, trains emerging Indonesian scholars in the social sciences.
• Bahram Naderil, Anthropology, “Contesting Bridewealth-Classification of Bugis Marriage Prestations”
This paper re-examines the classification of Bugis marriage prestations in anthropological terms as presented by Susan B. Millar, Sharyn G. Davies, and Christian Pelras. Widely classified as a bridewealth system, or loosely as a dowry system, the Bugis practice of material-giving prior to marriage, I argue, has been reduced to terminologies which neither encompass nor reflect the essence of the practice. If anthropologists feel the need to classify the practice under anthropological terms, despite the option of using Bugis’ own indigenous “terms,” there is an umbrella term which I believe represents and articulates the practice—marriage prestations. In an attempt to reorient the use of anthropological terms, I begin with looking at the Bugis marriage practices/rituals through the lens of performative theory. Performative theory helps us to discover how identities of gender, kinship, and status, each with its own role in Bugis marriage, are (re)produced through ongoing ritual performances. The discussion of ritual performativity of these identities, when posed side-by-side with classic kinship discussion in anthropology, reveals the inadequacy of the category of bridewealth to encompass the Bugis practice of material-giving.
Respondent: Hafsa Oubou, PhD Student, Cultural Anthropology
• Sari Ratri, Anthropology, “At Home or in a Clinic: An Ethnography of Trust Construction and Risk Calculation in Indonesia’s Maternal and Neonatal Development”
A foreign-funded program, called Revolusi Kesehatan Ibu dan Anak (Maternal and Neonatal Health Care: Revolusi KIA), focused on women using a professional health care provider in a facility. In practice, some women preferred to give birth at home with help from a traditional birthing attendant (dukun) even though the government uses fines and punishments for every birth occurring outside the clinic. The author claims that this framework, in fact, neglects significant aspects of historical intervention programs, perpetuates health risks, and disrupts the established socio-cultural relationship among women, frontline health apparatuses, and dukun in the local community.
Respondent: Keegan Terek, PhD Student, Linguistic Anthropology
• Mirna Nadia, Sociology, “Shifting Boundaries and Contentions: The Regulation of ‘Victimless Crimes’ in Indonesia”
Indonesia has witnessed the shifting of regulation to control “victimless crimes” after the demise of the authoritarian New Order regime—from deploying gender norms via public policy and propaganda to forthright criminalization of those who deviate from such norms. It appears that the changing political environment and contentious norms diffusion provoke social opposition, including criminalization of “victimless crimes,” as newer norms become increasingly visible and collide with the norms which are rooted within the nation.
Respondent: Omri Tubi, PhD Student, Sociology
• Aulia Nastiti, Political Science – “Worker Unrest and Contentious Labor Practices of Ride-hailing Services in Indonesia”
Why have ride-hailing services (i.e., Uber-like apps) prompted labor discontents? Using the case of informal labor in Indonesia, the author contends that the answer lies in the super-exploitative labor practices imposed by the middleman firm. Super-exploitation is built on legal void on labor laws and facilitated by the use of technology and the rhetoric of freedom and entrepreneurship. While the exploitative conditions are pervasive, resistance occurs when the firm violates drivers’ normative practices and threatens their subsistence incomes.
Respondent: Christa Kuntzelman, PhD Student, Political Science
• Ririn Kusuma, Political Science- “Power and Free Speech: The Elites’ Resistance to Criticism in Indonesia”
The fall of Suharto brought Indonesia onto a new path of democracy. However, after 19 years, Indonesia remains lacking in the exercise of free speech. In 2008, the government enacted a law which criminalizes defamation on the Internet. This law adds to the existing defamation law in the Penal Code in silencing criticism. This paper explores why the elites remain reluctant to allow open criticism despite the country’s practicing democracy. Using the method of political history, I track the behavior of the elites in different political regimes: Old Order (1945-1965), New Order (1965-1998), and post-Reformasi (1998-present). I observe the resistance against the imposed regulations and how the elites have used the regulations during each regime. In addition, I observe how the current political society interacts with previous regimes. I argue that the legacy of Dutch colonialization and the system of dictatorship which lasted more than three decades continue to influence the Indonesian political culture which justifies the elites’ attitude toward criticism.
Respondent: Malia Bowers, PhD Student, Political Science
*Indonesian lunch will be provided