“(Tickamyer and Kusujiarti) provide a captivating insider/outsider perspective on everyday life and social change in two Central Javanese villages. Based on quantitative and qualitative fieldwork from the mid-1990s up till 2010, their book should become the essential source for understanding gender in rural Java.”
“Power, Change, and Gender Relations in Rural Java is an important book in the area of gender and development. It provides thoughtful insight into how women in various developing countries are involved in contradictory gender roles and how this ‘contradiction is endured, reproduced, and perpetuated.’ As an important scholarly contribution, it will be useful for graduate and advanced undergraduate courses in gender, development, and social change.”
“By conducting semi-structured interviews in the same villages and with many of the same individuals for more than 20 years, the authors have rich and varied data that are analyzed and presented in a variety of ways in order to characterize and probe perceptions and experiences of gender…. The historical and analytical detail provided in this book will be of particular interest to scholars of southeast Asian social and political changes, as the authors paint a dynamic picture of the myriad influences on gender ideas and roles in Java and Indonesia.”
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.
Ann R. Tickamyer is a professor of rural sociology and head of the Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Sociology at Pennsylvania State University. She is the coeditor of Communities of Work: Rural Restructuring in Local and Global Contexts, also from Ohio University Press. More info →
Siti Kusujiarti is a professor of sociology and chair of the Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Warren Wilson College, Asheville, North Carolina. She is the author of numerous publications on rural poverty, inequality, gender, work, and development. More info →
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Realizing the Dream of R. A. Kartini: Her Sisters’ Letters from Colonial Java presents a unique collection of documents reflecting the lives, attitudes, and politics of four Javanese women in the early twentieth century. Joost J. Coté translates the correspondence between Raden Ajeng Kartini, Indonesia’s first feminist, and her sisters, revealing for the first time her sisters’ contributions in defining and carrying out her ideals.
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