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Wiring the Warung to global gateways: The Internet in Indonesia

Hill, D.T. and Sen, K. (1997) Wiring the Warung to global gateways: The Internet in Indonesia. Indonesia, 63 (April). pp. 67-89.

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The global enthusiasm about the Internet has infused the reception of this new communication technology in Indonesia. In much of this discourse—both in Indonesia and elsewhere—there is a tendency to invest the technology with a certain sociopolitical determinacy, that is, a belief that the technology will affect all societies in a particular way, regardless of its specificities. In our very preliminary survey here of the Internet in Indonesia, we want to test some of the Utopian projections about the Internet's democratic potential in the context of Indonesian politics in the mid-1990s. While Indonesia remains one of the least networked countries in Southeast Asia,2 with an estimated forty thousand subscribers by the end of 1996, the Internet has been embraced by both the technophilic developmentalists (personified by Minister B. J. Habibie) within the New Order state and by the middle-class opposition to that coterie. Of course the Internet (or more correctly, CMCs, Computer Mediated Communications technology), like any other technology, lends itself to a limited, but varied, range of (occasionally contradictory) possibilities. We want to understand which of the technological options of the Net are political options in Indonesia.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Arts
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