ASIA3001 Indonesian Politics and Culture

6 points
(see Timetable)
Semester 1UWA (Perth)Face to face
Details for undergraduate courses
  • Level 3 core unit in the INDNB Indonesian Studies; INDNP Indonesian Studies; INDNI Indonesian Studies major sequences
  • Level 3 option in the Asian Studies major sequence
  • The area of knowledge for this unit is Society and Culture
  • Category B broadening unit for students
  • Level 3 elective
This unit explores the dynamics of Indonesian social and cultural change, using an approach that integrates historical, political and anthropological perspectives. It does so by first exploring the diversity of human ecologies in Indonesia, both urban and rural, then by focusing on the often dramatic social and political history of post-Independence Indonesia, and finally by discussing key social issues in contemporary Indonesia, including ethnonationalism, separatism, youth culture, corruption, poverty and social justice. Special attention is given to the social and political dynamics that led to the fall of the Soeharto regime and to the extraordinary democratic transformation since 1998. Students are introduced to key theoretical problems and debates concerning multiculturalism, religious syncretism and urbanisation.
Students are able to (1) demonstrate knowledge and understanding of key themes in contemporary Indonesian society and culture; (2) evaluate theoretical debates about culture and society in general and Indonesian culture and society in particular; (3) demonstrate understanding of how culture influences politics and how social structures and politics influences culture; demonstrate knowledge of debates surrounding Islam and politics in Indonesia; (4) analyse specific issues in contemporary Indonesian society; (5) appreciate the need for, as well as practise, ethical sensitivity towards Indonesia, its people and its problems; (6) undertake independent research utilising a variety of sources; and (7) communicate critical thoughts and findings in well developed arguments, both oral and written.
Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) seminar participation; (2) assignments; and (3) final exam. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Supplementary assessment is not available in this unit except in the case of a bachelor's pass degree student who has obtained a mark of 45 to 49 overall and is currently enrolled in this unit, and it is the only remaining unit that the student must pass in order to complete their course.
Unit Coordinator(s)
Associate Professor David Bourchier
Unit rules
Any Level 2 ASIA, ANTH or INDO coded unit
ASIA2210 Society and Culture in Indonesia, ASIA2221 Indonesian Politics and Society
Contact hours
lectures: 10 hours; seminars: 2 hours per week for 11 weeks
  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
  • All students are responsible for identifying when they need assistance to improve their academic learning, research, English language and numeracy skills; seeking out the services and resources available to help them; and applying what they learn. Students are encouraged to register for free online support through GETSmart; to help themselves to the extensive range of resources on UWA's STUDYSmarter website; and to participate in WRITESmart and (ma+hs)Smart drop-ins and workshops.
  • Books and other material wherever listed may be subject to change. Book lists relating to 'Preliminary reading', 'Recommended reading' and 'Textbooks' are, in most cases, available via the Booktopia Textbook Finder, which has the functionality to search by course code, course, ISBN and title, and may also be posted or available at the appropriate school's administrative offices. Where texts are listed in the unit description above, an asterisk (*) indicates that the book is available in paperback.