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Title:Falling into the gay world: Manhood, marriage, and family in Indonesia
Author(s):Howard, Richard Stephen
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Gottlieb, Alma J.
Department / Program:Anthropology
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Cultural Anthropology
Individual and Family Studies
Abstract:This thesis examines conceptions of homosexuality among lower income gay men of various ethnicities in Jakarta, Indonesia. The primary focus is on the relationship between homosexuality and conceptions of male gender, and it is argued that sexuality plays a minimal role in defining adult male identity in Indonesia which is instead achieved through marriage and reproduction. While the significance of family in defining individual identity is well demonstrated in the literature for many Asia countries, this thesis examines the problematic incorporation and resistance to local and national cultural conceptions which define men as necessarily married and integrated into a "traditional" family structure. Particular focus is on Jakarta's first gay organization, the Associated Brotherhood for People of the Same Heart (IPOOS), which now draws over a thousand people to its monthly meetings and weekly drag performances. Within daily organizational life and during public performances, the men of this study creatively reformulated dominant Indonesian conceptions and family and male identity by incorporating them into an gay social domain.
Though analysis of over 100 life narratives collected over a three year period (1991-1994), this thesis argues that Indonesians hold a somewhat distinct conception of homosexuality as a social produced phenomena initially formed in early childhood family relationships and later reinforced through social and sexual interaction with other "gay" men. Indonesians, therefore, often envision homosexuality as a socially malleable phenomena which is negotiated, contextual, and subject to change through the life-course. Nonetheless, the introduction of Western-European conceptions of homosexuality and gay identity have opened up new conceptual spaces for reconceptualizing homosexuality and its relationship to male identity.
Issue Date:1996
Rights Information:Copyright 1996 Howard, Richard Stephen
Date Available in IDEALS:2011-05-07
Identifier in Online Catalog:AAI9712312
OCLC Identifier:(UMI)AAI9712312

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