Journal of Group Dynamics
Online ISSN : 2187-2872
ISSN-L : 2187-2872
Japanese papers with English abstract
Developing a Community Revitalization Movement Based on Reflective Dialog Using Engaged Ethnography
YB. Cahya WidiyantoToshio Sugiman
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JOURNALS FREE ACCESS

2015 Volume 32 Pages 104-313

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Abstract

<br>   This study describes the process in which a certain community of farmers in Indonesia tried to overcome a crisis caused by rapid penetration of free market economy into agriculture. In the crisis, farmers were marginalized economically and socially and their community was declined by losing togetherness and cultural traditions. In such a situation, a community revitalization movement was initiated by the author in 2008 and carried out by a group of farmers in Daleman, a sub-district located in Bantul, Yogyakarta, Indonesia. This paper reported the process of the movement during 2008-2013, though it is still going on. <br>   The movement had two major characteristics. First, a strategy called creative return to the past was emphasized. Specifically, regaining the togetherness and cultural traditions that they had maintained until the penetration of market economy is regarded as the return to the past. But, it is almost impossible to ignore market economy in our globalized world and thus the return to the past is possible only by utilizing market economy creatively. Second, an ethnography was written by the author not just for an academic purpose but also for contributing to the movement by facilitating reflective dialog among participants. In this sense, it is called engaged ethnography. <br>   The group of farmers was gradually convinced that the crisis was brought by their passive attitude toward market economy and finally reached a future vision to start organic farming as a major pillar of their activities. Organic farming had been conducted by all farmers until they began to use chemical fertilizer and pesticide to increase the rice production to meet market demand. In the process of development of the vision, the author used the ethnographies he had produced concerning the crisis until then to help the farmers understand that the crisis was not just a tragedy of their own community but was a nation-wide prevalent problem caused by market economy and that it would be possible to overcome it if they stand up together and start to do something new actively. <br>   Fortunately, organic farming was appreciated in the market while the farmers regained togetherness and cultural tradition in their community. However, the success also led the community to confusion and even a conflict in 2011-12. The conflict was so serious that neither the farmers nor the author could find any future prospects. It was the engaged ethnography the author wrote in 2008-10 that helped them resolve the conflict and regain solidarity. By the ethnography, they could recollect the process in which they once struggled with development of their solidarity and future vision and convince themselves of how they should proceed to the next step.

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