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Straightening what’s crooked? Recognition as moral disruption in Indonesia’s Confucianist revival

Long, Nicholas J. ORCID: 0000-0002-4088-1661 (2019) Straightening what’s crooked? Recognition as moral disruption in Indonesia’s Confucianist revival. Anthropological Forum, 29 (4). 335 - 355. ISSN 0066-4677

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Identification Number: 10.1080/00664677.2019.1664984


In 2006, the Indonesian state re-recognised Confucianism as an official religion, but this did not have the straightforwardly positive consequences that either Confucianist revivalists or some theorists of recognition might have predicted. Revivalists were often—but not always—gripped by feelings of outrage and moral torment, whilst the pace of the revival itself was very uneven. These varied outcomes reflect the complex politics pervading the lives of Indonesian Confucianists (and Chinese Indonesians more generally) as post-Suharto reforms force them to grapple with their diverse histories of accommodation and resistance to the New Order’s discriminatory policies. To fully understand such material, first-person moral perspectives must be incorporated into critical anthropological studies of recognition, as a complement to approaches focused on power and domination. Doing so reveals an important general truth about recognition—its capacity to be morally disruptive—and broadens our understanding of why recognition can hurt those it ostensibly stands to benefit.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2019 The Author
Divisions: Anthropology
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BL Religion
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GN Anthropology
D History General and Old World > DS Asia
Date Deposited: 05 Sep 2019 14:36
Last Modified: 17 Feb 2024 23:45

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