Accepted Paper:

Examining concepts of mobility among Muslim diasporas in Indonesia: from pre-digital to social media contexts  

Author:

Martin Slama (Austrian Academy of Sciences)

Paper short abstract:

The paper analyzes changes in how movement is conceptualized by members of Muslim diasporas in Indonesia with a special focus on the growing popularity of digital communication. It also aims to examine how “movement” and “home” can be connected in today’s social media age.

Paper long abstract:

The vast archipelagic state of Indonesia is home to a plurality of Muslim diasporas. Their networks span various regions of Indonesia and partly also cross Indonesian borders, particularly exhibiting connections to countries in Southeast Asia and the Middle East. Whereas high levels of mobility have been a constitutive feature of these societies for a long time, the particular concepts of mobility prevalent in these diasporas, i.e. the actual practices of moving in space and the meaning that is attached to these practices, have not remained the same. The paper thus attempts to analyze changes in how movement is conceptualized by members of these Muslim communities with a special focus on how the growing popularity of social media has influenced their practices and discourses. It draws on fieldwork in various sites in Indonesia, ranging from the political and economic centers on the island of Java to more peripheral places in the eastern parts of the archipelago that nonetheless can be imbued with special religious meaning. The ethnographic examples represent Muslim diasporas that originate from outside as well as inside Indonesia adding to the complex picture of how "movement" and "home" can be connected. Taking these complexities into account, the paper aims at generating new insights about diasporic concepts of movement by comparing these diasporas and their transformations in today's social media age.

Panel MB-SSR02
Ideas of movement, faith, and home in Muslim communities in the diaspora