Like young people across the globe, young Indonesians are often misunderstood. The older generations perceive them as entitled, unmotivated, apathetic and narcissistic, a far cry from the image of the pemuda, or revolutionary youth, who fought for the country’s independence. They are supposedly more interested in hanging out in shopping malls and seizing selfie opportunities for the perfect social media post than the social and political issues around them.
Even though more than half of Indonesia’s population is under the age of 30, little research has been done into the attitudes of the country’s youth. What do Indonesia’s young people think about social, political and economic issues? Do they care about social inequality and environmental degradation? How do their consumption patterns reflect their values and aspirations? Do they have much hope for Indonesia’s future and the role the can play within it?
Dr Charlotte Setijadi discusses these issues and more with Dr Meghan Downes, a Melbourne-based cultural studies scholar with a special focus on the everyday politics of consumption in contemporary Indonesia. Meghan completed her PhD at the Australian National University and held a postdoctoral research fellowship at the National University of Singapore’s Asia Research Institute.
In 2017, the Talking Indonesia podcast is co-hosted by Dr Charlotte Setijadi from the ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute in Singapore, Dr Dave McRae from the University of Melbourne’s Asia Institute, Dr Jemma Purdey from Monash University, and Dr Dirk Tomsa from La Trobe University.
Photo by Johanes Randy Prakoso on Flickr.