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  • Print publication year: 2012
  • Online publication date: October 2015




For some years now I have often heard Yogyakarta's Sosrowijayan neighbourhood described as either a ‘typically conservative kampung’ or a ‘tourist ruined commercial zone’. In Part One I sought to problematise this division by examining music making and capital conversions among becak drivers and street guides. Part Two begins by focusing on women in Sosrowijayan, with subsequent chapters mapping out manifestations of gendered physical behaviour at musical events that took place in kampung and commercial venues across the city. By analysing and comparing nonverbal forms of communication and interaction in these cultural spaces, I seek to identify connections between intergenerational/communal and cross-cultural/commercial influences on gendered identities, and in turn between the kampung and commercial activities that took place in and around Sosrowijayan's public spaces. These influences can thereby be related to the village/urban, campursari/musik jalanan and becak driver/street guide divisions already identified and scrutinised, but now analysed across multiple spaces and genres.

The lives of male street guides and/or street children have been the subject of rigorous research on inner-city Yogyakarta. A useful starting point for the present discussion is to schematize the public life of women in Sosrowijayan. I suggest that three broad groups interacted socially around the neighbourhood during my research, each of which tended to gravitate toward some musical worlds and not others. First were those not especially kampung-bound nor commercially exploited. These included public-oriented wives of kampung association leaders, as well as some university students and NGO workers. Second, some women in staff positions, approaching the age of 25 and facing expectations of marriage and children, sought financial and other means to escape ‘kampun gan’ pressures and avoid dependency on men by developing their English language, business and, in some cases, musical skills. And third were a dozen or so women I wish to call ‘perek’, from perempuan eksperimental and meaning ‘experimental girls’ (Murray 1991; Richter 2008b).

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Musical Worlds of Yogyakarta
  • Online ISBN: 9789814414463
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