Islamic popular culture and the new identities of urban muslim young people in Indonesia: the case of islamic films and islamic self-help books

- Hariyadi

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

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Abstract

[Truncated abstract] My thesis examines the emerging phenomenon of Islamic popular culture in Indonesia. Islamic popular culture has been thriving in Indonesia for more than a decade. It is a new and important aspect of the Islamic revival in this country and beyond. Popular culture has sometimes been viewed as a Western product and many people in Indonesia think that it introduces a Western lifestyle that is incompatible with Islam. Some Islamic teachings in Indonesia indeed challenge values from the West. However, my thesis shows that Islam and Western-influenced popular culture are not necessarily incompatible with each other.
In this thesis, I examine Islamic films and Islamic self-help books as forms of popular culture. I also look at how Indonesian Muslim young people in urban areas interpret Islamic films and Islamic self-help books as a way of constructing their identity. I analysed some Islamic films and self-help books, as well as conducted interviews, focus group discussions and participant observation of young people who watch Islamic films or read Islamic self-help books. My informants were university students in Jakarta and Bandung, particularly students of Universitas Negeri Jakarta and Institut Teknologi Bandung respectively. Their consumption of Islamic popular culture suggests that urban young people in Indonesia are aiming to be modern and pious at the same time. In doing so, urban Indonesian Muslim young people demonstrate that they do not exclusively belong to either Westernisation or Islamism: they are creating their own distinctive identity.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Publication statusUnpublished - 2013

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