Democracy, Corruption and the Politics of Spirits in Contemporary Indonesia

Author: Nils Bubandt

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1317682513

Category: Political Science

Page: 162

View: 5625

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Indonesia has been an electoral democracy for more than a decade, and yet the political landscape of the world’s third-largest democracy is as complex and enigmatic as ever. The country has achieved a successful transition to democracy and yet Indonesian democracy continues to be flawed, illiberal, and predatory. This book suggests that this and other paradoxes of democracy in Indonesia often assume occult forms in the Indonesian political imagination, and that the spirit-like character of democracy and corruption traverses into the national media and the political elite. Through a series of biographical accounts of political entrepreneurs, all of whom employ spirits in various, but always highly contested, ways, the book seeks to provide a portrait of Indonesia’s contradictory democracy, contending that the contradictions that haunt democracy in Indonesia also infect democracy globally. Exploring the intimate ways in which the world of politics and the world of spirits are entangled, it argues that Indonesia’s seemingly peculiar problems with democracy and spirits in fact reflect a set of contradictions within democracy itself. Engaging with recent attempts to look at contemporary politics through the lens of the occult, Democracy, Corruption and the Politics of Spirits in Contemporary Indonesia will be of interest to academics in the fields of Asian Studies, Anthropology and Political Science and relevant for the study of Indonesian politics and for debates about democracy in Asia and beyond.
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The Empty Seashell

Witchcraft and Doubt on an Indonesian Island

Author: Nils Bubandt

Publisher: Cornell University Press

ISBN: 0801471966

Category: Social Science

Page: 320

View: 7771

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The Empty Seashell explores what it is like to live in a world where cannibal witches are undeniably real, yet too ephemeral and contradictory to be an object of belief. In a book based on more than three years of fieldwork between 1991 and 2011, Nils Bubandt argues that cannibal witches for people in the coastal, and predominantly Christian, community of Buli in the Indonesian province of North Maluku are both corporeally real and fundamentally unknowable. Witches (known as gua in the Buli language or as suanggi in regional Malay) appear to be ordinary humans but sometimes, especially at night, they take other forms and attack people in order to kill them and eat their livers. They are seemingly everywhere and nowhere at the same time. The reality of gua, therefore, can never be pinned down. The title of the book comes from the empty nautilus shells that regularly drift ashore around Buli village. Convention has it that if you find a live nautilus, you are a gua. Like the empty shells, witchcraft always seems to recede from experience. Bubandt begins the book by recounting his own confusion and frustration in coming to terms with the contradictory and inaccessible nature of witchcraft realities in Buli. A detailed ethnography of the encompassing inaccessibility of Buli witchcraft leads him to the conclusion that much of the anthropological literature, which views witchcraft as a system of beliefs with genuine explanatory power, is off the mark. Witchcraft for the Buli people doesn’t explain anything. In fact, it does the opposite: it confuses, obfuscates, and frustrates. Drawing upon Jacques Derrida’s concept of aporia—an interminable experience that remains continuously in doubt—Bubandt suggests the need to take seriously people’s experiential and epistemological doubts about witchcraft, and outlines, by extension, a novel way of thinking about witchcraft and its relation to modernity.
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Kinship, population and social reproduction in the 'new Indonesia'

A study of Nuaulu cultural resilience

Author: Roy Ellen

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1351027123

Category: Social Science

Page: 220

View: 9984

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Nuaulu people on the Indonesian island of Seram have displayed remarkable linguistic and cultural resilience over a period of 50 years. In 1970 their language and traditional culture was widely considered ‘endangered.’ Despite this, Nuaulu have not only maintained their animist identity and shown a robust ability to reproduce 'traditional' ritual performances, but have exhibited both population growth and increasing assertiveness in the projection of their interests through the politics of the ‘New Indonesia’. This book examines how kinship organization and marriage patterns have responded to some of these challenges, and suggests that the retention of core institutions of descent and exchange are the consequence of population growth, which in turn has enabled ritual reproduction, and thereby effectively maintained a distinct identity in relation to the surrounding majority culture. Low conversion rates to other religions, and the political consequences of Indonesian ‘reformasi’, have also contributed to a situation in which, despite changes in the material basis of their lives, Nuaulu have projected a strong independent identity and organisation. In terms of debates around kinship in eastern Indonesia, this book argues that older notions of prescriptive social structure are fundamentally flawed. Kinship institutions are real enough, but the distinction between genealogical and classificatory relations is often unimportant; all that matters in the end is that the arrangements entered into between clans and houses permit both biological and social reproduction, and that the latter ultimately serves the former. An important contribution to the study of the peoples of Eastern Indonesia, it highlights a 'good news story' about the successful retention of a traditional way of life in an area that has had a troubled recent history. It will be of interest to academics in various fields of anthropology, in particular the study of kinship and Southeast Asian societies.
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Ghost Movies in Southeast Asia and Beyond

Narratives, Cultural Contexts, Audiences

Author: N.A

Publisher: BRILL

ISBN: 9004323643

Category: Social Science

Page: 270

View: 6445

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Ghost Movies in Southeast Asia and Beyond explores ghost movies, one of the most popular film genres in East and Southeast Asia, by focusing on movie narratives, the cultural contexts of their origins and audience reception.
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Islam in Indonesia

Indonesia Raya Istana and Umat in an Obscuring Imperial Order

Author: Garth N. Jones

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: N.A

Category: Islam

Page: 59

View: 9747

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International Current Awareness Services

Anthropology and related disciplines

Author: N.A

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: N.A

Category: Anthropology

Page: N.A

View: 8981

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Indexes current publications in anthropology, including material too ephemeral for its parent annual, the International bibliography of social and cultural anthropology, and has only limited coverage of monographs.
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