Identity, Comodification, and Domination: the Manifestation of Hinduism in Bali

Title : Identity, Comodification, and Domination: the Manifestation of Hinduism in Bali
Author : Yulianingsih Riswan (CRCS, 2008)
Keywords : culture, identity politics, commoditization
Abstract :
This thesis reports on ethnographic fieldwork in Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia on July-October, 2007. Hinduism as religion of Bali has become the spirit of Balinese culture. And Bali’s culture has become a powerful political symbol and economic resource in the information age, where the development of the service economy (including tourism) provides new opportunities to marginal groups and new challenge to dominant ones.This report take the way in which culture is produced, possessed and often transformed into commodity for the market: the role of such reified culture in relation of inequality: the ownership of culture as a tool of identity and nation building.

This allows us to expand our understanding of cultural property: as a tool available to any group seeking confirmation of an identity perceived to be under threat vis a vis wider power structure. The thesis begins with description of contemporary Balinese, the transformation of its economy and a brief history of tourism. The relationship between ritual and economy is discussed both in general terms and ethnographic detail to provide insight into the context of cultural ideas in which tourist development has taken place. The spatial organization of ritual reveals patterns of cultural order and political influence as key factors in understanding the contemporary situation. Then, religion of Bali has contributed for the social life of thing such as culture identity, source of commodity, and also political power for domination.

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