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Youth radio and colloquial Indonesian in urban Java

Autor: Howard Manns
Revista: Indonesia and the Malay World Nº 42 (122)
Link: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/13639811.2014.876156

Few studies have explored colloquial Indonesian in the media outside of Jakarta. This article examines language policies at two youth radio stations in Malang, East Java, as well as the perceptions of these policies by targeted audiences. Results show that notions of the ‘authentic’ Indonesian speaker and the ‘appropriate’ use of Indonesian come to the fore in the design of Indonesian radio language.

Radio station staff and audiences agree that it is neither authentic nor appropriate to speak Indonesian with a Javanese accent in radio broadcasts or in the community. Beyond this point, however, the two radio stations differ in what they consider to be authentic or appropriate in Indonesian radio broadcasts.

These differences, I argue, hint at tensions between Jakartan and Javanese linguistic practices in the Malang community. However, audience members indicate they strategically manage these tensions through the authentic use of language in the appropriate context. Thus, I argue that rather than representing differing views of the authentic Indonesian speaker, the radio stations' approaches reflect the varied and fluid senses of self in post-Reform Indonesia.