English Text, Global Context, Indonesian Identity


Authors: Ignatius Harjanto, Anita Lie (Widya Mandala Catholic University, Indonesia)
Juliana Wijaya (University of California, Los Angeles, U.S.A.)
Speakers: Ignatius Harjanto, Anita Lie
Topic: Anthropological Linguistics
CALA 2020 General Session


Abstract

With the increasing use of social media, Indonesian millennials explore their public space in the internet while negotiating their cultural identity. They attempt to stake out their public space in the virtual world by writing postings in English and conveying global messages. Through these acts of assertion in the social media, they expand their interactions and journey into the global space to gain recognition as citizens of the world. This study aims at investigating what identity the Indonesian millennials living in Indonesia and overseas maintain in the physical world and the virtual world and to what extent the fluidity of their identity shapes their experiences in both worlds. We surveyed 486 Indonesian college students aged 18 through 22 years old in Indonesia, the U.S., Australia, and Singapore and asked about their language use and identity transformation. Based on their responses, we shortlisted the respondents and interviewed 112 participants face-to-face. We found that most of these millennials still claimed their allegiance to their national identity while venturing out into the global world and exercising their freedom to express themselves as global citizens through their mastery of English. Simultaneously, they were also aware that their linguistic and cultural journey set them apart from the majority of their Indonesian peers.

Keyword: Indonesian Identity