Accepted paper:

Indonesian labor Brokers and rhizomatic connections

Authors:

Johan Lindquist (Stockholm University)

Paper short abstract:

In this paper I consider the landscape of labor brokers on the Indonesian island of Lombok and take their temporary, strategic, and geographically dispersed relationships as a starting point for analysis. More broadly, shifting attention away from stable networks to contingent relationships among labor brokers offers an entry-point from which to begin reconceptualizing post-authoritarian Indonesia.

Paper long abstract:

During the last few years there has been an increasing formalization of migration from Indonesia to Saudi Arabia and Malaysia, in particular, where over a million Indonesians work on palm oil plantations, construction sites, and as domestic servants. This process of formalization has led to a dramatic drop in undocumented migration and the rapid growth of Indonesian labor recruitment companies that send migrants abroad. These companies are, however, dependant on large numbers of informal petugas lapangan, or "field operatives," who are responsible for the actual recruitment of migrants in villages across Indonesia. In this paper I consider the landscape of petugas lapangan on the Indonesian island of Lombok and take their temporary, strategic, and geographically dispersed relationships as a starting point for analysis. More broadly, shifting attention away from stable networks to contingent relationships among labor brokers offers an entry-point from which to begin reconceptualizing post-authoritarian Indonesia.

panel W107
From structure to conjucture: social networks and rhizomatic connnections