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Document Type:Latin Dissertation
Language of Document:English
Record Number:54390
Doc. No:TL24344
Call number:‭3216085‬
Main Entry:Jaida Kim Samudra
Title & Author:Body and belonging: In a transnational Indonesian Silat communityJaida Kim Samudra
College:University of Hawai'i at Manoa
Date:2006
Degree:Ph.D.
student score:2006
Page No:583
Abstract:Adults regularly adopt new identities as members of transcommunal associations anthropologically termed sodalities. This study investigates strategies of inclusivity in one such organization, Persatuan Gerak Badan [Body Movement Association, PGB], a school based in Bogor, Indonesia that teaches Silat Bangau Putih [White Crane Silat], a syncretic Chinese Indonesian martial art and health movement form. Indonesia has often been described as violently fractured along the lines of ethnicity, religion, and class, yet this not-for-profit organization incorporates a widely heterogeneous community that transverses religious, ethnic, and national identifications. Age and other bodily differences are recognized and accommodated, but only gender results in differential training practices and status achievement in the school. How does PGB embrace and retain its diverse membership? To investigate this issue, I conducted multi-sited field research in Java, Bali, France, and the United States from 1999 to 2001. I explored the negotiation of linguistic, ethnic, religious, class, gender, and national differences at several branches of the school. Archival and life history analysis show how the institution has been framed as Chinese, Indonesian, and transnational/transethnic in its historical discourses. In addition, White Crane Silat is understood epistemologically as a science, a system of empirical knowledge based on physical laws and a common human physiology. It is therefore discursively rendered an inclusive universal practice rather than a exclusive ethnic cultural tradition. I focus especially on the body as a site of identity formation, that is, how shared bodily practices enable the acquisition of social identities. A key problem addressed in this research centers on how nonverbal experiences and a pedagogy that disrupts intellectualization result in the production of cultural meaning and new social relations. Public performances are also critical for PGB's inclusivity. Silat demonstrations and competitions, broadcast in film and other media, strengthen PGB's place in the Indonesian national imaginary. The diversity of PGB's membership is remarkable anywhere, but especially so in Indonesia, where tensions between ethnic and religious groups are widely recognized. In this context, PGB stands as a powerful example of the potential for transformation of the self and society within transcommunal organizations.
Subject:Social sciences; Body; Community; Identity; Indonesian; Martial arts; Silat; Transnational; Cultural anthropology; 0326:Cultural anthropology
Added Entry:G. M. White
Added Entry:University of Hawai'i at Manoa