The commercialization of da'wah: Understanding Indonesian Sinetron and their portrayal of Islam

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Abstract

The impact of media industrialization on mediated religious expression all over the world has been substantial, and this study tries to understand the Indonesian case by looking at the intersections between commerce and Islamic expression. Focusing on Indonesian Islamic sinetron (soap operas), we shall see that contrasting ideological motivations among producers have resulted in particular narratives within their content. Despite these peculiarities, all narratives use Islamic teachings to address societal issues experienced by middle-class Indonesian Muslims. This, in turn, projects an image of Indonesian Islam that blurs existing political divisions in Indonesian society. This article argues that the sinetron plots are inherently a commercialization of da'wah (proselytizing of Islam).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)340-359
Number of pages20
JournalInternational Communication Gazette
Volume76
Issue number4-5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014

Keywords

  • Commercialization of da'wah
  • Indonesia
  • Islamic representation
  • Islamic sinetron
  • television production

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