- Playing politics: Power, memory, and agency in the making of the Indonesian student movement
- Award date
- 1 April 2016
- Number of pages
- Document type
- PhD thesis
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR)
This extended ethnography of the Indonesian student movement offers an intimate look into the cultural and political dynamics of student activism in Indonesia in the context of shifting state regimes. Based on a re-interpretation of historical narratives, twenty-two months of participant observation, and life story interviews, this study traces how students’ political identity and agency are formed in the interplay between political culture and personal experience and interactions, and examines the role of collective memory in the process. Introducing the concept of ‘playing politics’, it shows how students acquire activist dispositions and a ‘feel for the game’ of activism through playful socialisation, how activist performances involve a mimicry as well as mockery of institutionalised roles and repertoires, and how the student movement is tied to its own ‘play realm’ that gives it a special license to protest not granted to other actors. It further shows how the limits to this license are set through symbolic battles which the students engage in with the state, both over protest targets and over the representation of their identity and agency as legitimate political subjects. Ultimately, through an original analysis of the interplay between ‘stories’ and ‘spirit’ of ‘student struggle’, this ethnography provides an alternative perspective on the interplay between student activism and state repression.
- Research conducted at: Universiteit van Amsterdam
If you believe that digital publication of certain material infringes any of your rights or (privacy) interests, please let the Library know, stating your reasons. In case of a legitimate complaint, the Library will make the material inaccessible and/or remove it from the website. Please Ask the Library, or send a letter to: Library of the University of Amsterdam, Secretariat, Singel 425, 1012 WP Amsterdam, The Netherlands. You will be contacted as soon as possible.