Universitas Indonesia Conferences, 7th International Symposium of Journal Antropologi Indonesia

Font Size: 
Intersections of ethnicity and class in Maluku
Timo Kaartinen

Building: Soegondo Building
Room: 709
Date: 2019-07-24 10:30 AM – 12:00 PM
Last modified: 2019-06-21


Ethnicity and class formation appear as distinct, but interlocked processes among socially and geographically mobile people whose economic, educational, and political opportunities depend on the resources they already have, as well as on their alignment with local ethnic and cultural hierarchies. The paper draws from autobiographic narratives collected among recently urbanised people in Maluku, Eastern Indonesia, to address the question of what inclusion in the Indonesian society means for people who struggle for residential and land rights in the urban environment. It draws from ethnographic research among harbour workers whose experience includes two types of marginality: the potential for ethnic exclusion and the precariousness of wage labor. The paper discusses the intersecting effects of ethnic and class marginality on people displaced by the conflict of 1999-2002 in Maluku. The questions addressed in the paper are how competing discourses of unity translate into strategies of belonging, and how effective these strategies are in different ethnic and national spaces traversed by marginalised groups and migrant people.

Keywords: class, ethnicity, intersectionality, marginality, mobility