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Power, Change, and Gender Relations in Rural Java

Ann R. Tickamyer, Siti Kusujiarti

Publication Year: 2012

Women’s status in rural Java can appear contradictory to those both inside and outside the culture. In some ways, women have high status and broad access to resources, but other situations suggest that Javanese women lack real power and autonomy. Javanese women have major responsibilities in supporting their families and controlling household finances. They may also own and manage their own property. Yet these symbols and potential sources of independence and influence are determined by a culturally prescribed, state-reinforced, patriarchal gender ideology that limits women’s autonomy. Power, Change, and Gender Relations in Rural Java examines this contradiction as well as sources of stability and change in contemporary Javanese gender relations. The authors conducted their research in two rural villages in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, during three important historical and political periods: the end of the New Order regime; the transitional period of reformation; and the subsequent establishment of a democratic government. Their collaboration brings a unique perspective, analyzing how gender is constructed and reproduced and how power is exercised as Indonesia faces the challenges of building a new social order. 

Published by: Ohio University Press

Title Page, Copyright

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pp. iii-iv


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pp. vii


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pp. ix-x


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pp. xi-xiii

Abbreviations and Glossary

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pp. xv-xxiii

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Introduction: A Conundrum and Two Researchers

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pp. 1-27

In the spring of 2010, a woman was elected the bupati of Bantul, the head of a sprawling and diverse district (kabupaten) adjoining the city of Yogyakarta, Indonesia. Ibu Midiwati is the first woman bupati in the special province of Yogyarta and one of the few in the entire Republic of Indonesia. ...

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Chapter 1 - Like Our Own Mother: The Limits of Gendered Power in Theory and Daily Life

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pp. 29-54

In 2001, Megawati Sukarnoputri, the daughter of the first president of Indonesia, became its fifth president and the first woman to hold this office in the country with the world’s largest Muslim population. Her ascendancy to power was not direct or assured; the twists and turns of her fortunes in pursuit of this office sometimes...

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Chapter 2 - Two Villages in Yogyakarta

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pp. 55-92

Daerah Istimew (D.I.) Yoyakarta, the special region of Yogyakarta, is located in south-central Java. It is “special” both by history and by political designation. From ancient times to the present, Yogya, as it is more familiarly known, has been recognized as the center of Javanese culture and society...


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pp. a-l

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Chapter 3 - Goats and Doves: Contradictions in Gender Ideology and the Gender Division of Labor

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pp. 93-125

The sources of Javanese gender ideology in history, culture, religion, and state policies are further elaborated by examining how beliefs about gender roles are manifested in daily practice. Making sense of the relationship between the ideological construction and the material practices of gender roles remains problematic...

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Chapter 4 - Gender and Agricultural Production1

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pp. 126-160

The two villages are part of a rural economy, deeply embedded in agricultural production. However, in addition to the differences between the two villages already noted—remoteness, proximity to urban centers, state-sponsored development programs, and so on—they differ substantially in the degree to which...

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Chapter 5 - Involuntary Voluntary Service: Gender and Social Welfare in Crisis and Reform

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pp. 161-190

Indonesia's new order government initiated community-based social welfare programs that were designed to mobilize support for the government’s domestic policies and agenda while minimizing the cost to the state. Women were the primary targets of these programs, and although their participation was formally voluntary, in fact, their time, labor, energy...

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Chapter 6 - Men’ s Rib: Women’s Power and Empowerment

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pp. 191-219

Bu Miniwati is the only woman head (dukuh) of a subvillage in Bantul. She applied and was appointed by the bupati (at that time also an appointed position) during the New Order in 1988 after gaining the approval of her husband and father to take such a bold step. ...


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pp. 221-230


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pp. 231-241


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pp. 243-246

E-ISBN-13: 9780896804807

Publication Year: 2012