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Copyright
VOLUME 4 (2002), ISSUE 8 (WINTER)

 

YOUNG PEOPLE, POLITICS AND RELIGION IN INDONESIA 

PAM NILAN

 

SUMMARY

This article examines the engagement of Indonesian youth with the fields of politics and religion in Indonesia. Data collected through focus group interviews with young Indonesians from the three major religions sheds light on a number of contemporary issues to do with rapid global transformations. The comments of the young people on political change could not be readily separated from religious issues. Every time they were asked about religion they talked about politics and the reverse was also true. Themes of religious chauvinism dominated, along with what seemed to be a rather naïve view of politics. Expressions of anti-Western feeling also colored the interviews. This data takes on a particular significance and poignancy in the light of revelations post-October 12, 2002 (the Bali bombing) regarding Islamic fundamentalist terrorist activities in Indonesia. The data imply the cultural, political and economic conditions in which such activities can take place.

KEYWORDS

Indonesia - Terrorism - Islam - Religion 

AUTHOR'S PRESENTATION

Dr Pam Nilan is a Senior Lecturer in Sociology in the School of Social Sciences at the University of Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia. She is currently the Associate Director of the Centre for Asia Pacific Social Transformation Studies. She has conducted research on young people and social change in Australia, Indonesia and Vietnam and is currently working on a book on global youth cultures.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

This article is based on a conference paper presented at the 2002 conference of the Asia-Pacific Sociological Association in Brisbane, Australia ("Asia-Pacific Societies: Contrasts, Challenges, and Crises").

COPYRIGHT

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