One of the world's most intensively studied societies, Bali has hosted scholars and writers as renowned as Margaret Mead, Gregory Bateson, Miguel Covarrubias, Fred Barth, and Hildred and Clifford Geertz. Staying Local in the Global Village is part of a continuing tradition in which Balinese and foreign scholars reflect on the processes of transformation that link Bali to Indonesia and the world beyond. The chapters in this volume are based on research carried out in the early 1990s, when Suharto's New Order still enjoyed widespread legitimacy in Indonesia. Even then, political consensus in Bali was weakened by the inhabitants' view of themselves as an exploited minority of Hindus in a nation dominated by Islamic Javanese. As this book reveals, the ambivalent positioning of Balinese vis-à-vis the national and the global in recent decades has been played out in many different spheres of life. Contributors take up a number of themes that reflect different articulations of the local throughout the twentieth century. Early chapters provide a bird's-eye view of the public culture, local history, definitions of "Balinese-ness," and political struggles over land and sacred space. Later chapters explore specific aspects of Balinese participation in the transformations associated with the tourism-dominated provincial economy, the growth of communications and mass media, and the incursions of the nation-state trough its imperatives of economic development and rationalist discourses. New forms of traditional hegemony, status struggles over the priesthood, contestation about cultural authenticity by marginal groups within the island itself, women's work, the performing arts, and television watching, are all considered in this light, providing a highly nuanced and "local" perspective of global processes in Bali.
Subjects: Economics, History, Political Science
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