Indonesian Blogger Communities: Display of Digital Artefacts As The Legitimate Ruling Mechanism

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This paper discusses questions around ‘Do blogger communities that are rearticulated from ‘old school hegemonic relations’ have the potential to empower Indonesian bloggers?’ Or do they, on the other hand, potentially reproduce other forms
of power relationships for Indonesian bloggers, as cyberspace does not always guarantee democratisation. It revolves
around the notion of community, which in digital era has decentre power relations. It offers an argument that what so called
virtual community tends to reproduce ruling mechanism by recreating digital artefacts as trivial reminders to maintain cultural territories. This study is an ethnographic research on blogging and includes almost four years of participant observation
and informal interviews with a diverse range of bloggers including men, women, early adopters and newcomers, founder,
administrator, people who blog professionally and those who do so in their free time. My findings show that Indonesian
blogging culture does not refer to a ‘modern community’. It remains practicing old languages of primordialism but mediated
through new models. Blogger communities in Indonesia reflect a unique transaction between civitas and polis. On one
hand they readily establish their identity as members of civitas (communities) but on the other hand, many also develop
their identity as members of polis (society) by establishing digital artefacts. Additionally, these practices require memberships which are strongly attached to localities and territories
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)187-197
JournalJurnal Komunikasi Indonesia
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2019


  • Digital ethnography
  • blog
  • virtual community
  • Indonesia
  • nationalism


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