Title

Commercial Islam In Indonesia: How Television Producers Mediate Religiosity Among National Audiences

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

1-1-2014

Publication Title

International Journal Of Asian Studies

Department

Sociology & Anthropology

Abstract

While Indonesia's burgeoning private television industry has prospered through the country's democratic transition and the rise of popular Islam, it has remained ideologically constrained by many of the content restrictions established during Suharto's New Order era. One area in which producers have broken these norms is in the field of religious imagery, and the adaptation of religiously-themed narratives and tropes. This article -- based on a long-term ethnographic study of television producers in Indonesia and the social institutions that influence them -- explores the strategies and goals behind the industry's handling of the imagined religious audience. It asserts that the tension of appeasing cultural conservatives has been redirected by the industry into content that appeals to the much larger demographic of moderate Muslims, through the adaptation of narrative conventions and stylistic forms that draw on an array of global media traditions. It examines new genres and conventions invoked by producers in their efforts to both placate and mobilize religious sentiment among Indonesia's culturally heterogeneous population, arguing that these practices promote a successful, commercial Islam that largely comports with neoliberal subjectivity. Adapted from the source document.

Volume

11

Issue

1

pp.

1-24

ISSN

1479-5914