Chinese Indonesians at the Crossroads: Post-Suharto Identity Dilemma in the Rise of China in the New Media Age


China's rise to global prominence mostly represented in the new media has provoked the prevalence of re-sinification, as well as de-sinification, among Diasporic Chinese throughout the world, including the new generations of Chinese Indonesians. It is most commonly shared that nowadays Chinese Indonesians are expected to help bridging the gap between Indonesia and Mainland China by facilitating strategic partnerships between both countries while unconsciously re-orientalizing their identity. One way or another, the growing dominance of China and the public expressions of Chinese culture have aggravated widespread Sinophobia from Native Indonesians, hence this condition has led those Chinese Indonesians into the state of in-betweenness. Through the constructivist approach to qualitative inquiry, the psychological themes become predominant and motivate those Chinese Indonesians to renegotiate their cultural identity by means of the new media. The result shows that nearly two decades after the downfall of Suharto's authoritarian regime, the discrimination against Chinese Indonesians by the indigenous people has not been completely eliminated. The unrelieved psychological discomfort in the democratic transition era has led to an inference that the actual implementation of proclaimed renaissance in the post-Suharto era is somewhat illusory. This phenomenon has shown that even today, the political and cultural cleavage between the majority (indigenous people) and minority (Chinese Indonesians) still exists, which in turn enhances the state of ambivalence.

Author Information
Xu Minghua, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, China
Enny Ingketria, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, China

Paper Information
Conference: ACCS2016
Stream: Cultural Studies

This paper is part of the ACCS2016 Conference Proceedings (View)
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Posted by James Alexander Gordon