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Workshop | Social media in Indonesia: Trends and challenges

05/10/2023 - 06/10/2023

Call for papers | Social media in Indonesia: Trends and challenges (closed)

A two day hybrid workshop

Dates workshop

5-6 October 2023.


KITLV/Royal Netherlands Institute of Southeast Asian and Caribbean Studies (KITLV), and via Zoom.


Ward Berenschot (KITLV), Johan Lindquist (Stockholm Center for Global Asia, Stockholm University), David Kloos (KITLV), Nils Bubandt (Aarhus University).


Social media has acquired an exceptional role in Indonesia’s social, economic, religious, and political life. The country has one of the world’s highest number of Facebook subscribers, while Jakarta has previously been dubbed the ‘Twitter capital’ and is arguably the current Instagram capital of the world. Social media platforms are transforming Indonesia in ways that remain poorly understood. They are re-shaping social relations, disrupting and creating new opportunities in business sectors, accommodating new religious forms, practices and communications, transforming modes of activism, and in a more general sense becoming laboratories for new representations and interpretations of social and political identities. At the same time, evidence is mounting that social media is being used to hamper and curtail democratic processes, as vested interest groups and so-called ‘buzzers’ are manipulating public opinion and influencing elections.

The aim of this workshop is to bring together researchers working on the very forefront of these developments by critically examining the considerable and growing impact of social media on Indonesia’s society, economy, and politics. In this seminar we will take stock of the state of knowledge with regard to how social media is changing Indonesia and its significance on an international and global scale. We hope, for instance, to discuss the following issues: How does social media affect Indonesia’s democracy? How is the character of citizenship and activism shaped by social media? What is the interaction between social media usage and religious and social engagements, practices, and identities? In what ways are Indonesian livelihoods reorganized by social media marketplaces? How is social media reinforcing or reshaping rural-urban divides? And what methodologies and approaches are best suited to study these phenomena?


We invite researchers to address these questions and to present papers during a two-day hybrid workshop. We expect participants to prepare brief texts of five to ten pages, which will be pre-circulated and used as a basis for discussing publication opportunities.

Limited funding

Some (limited) travel funding will be available for participants who need it.

Submission paper abstract

If you’re interested in participating in this workshop, please send us a submission consisting of:
-a paper title
-your name, email & affiliation
-an abstract of max 300 words
-a one-page CV

Deadline (closed)

Please send your submission in one single document in Word format to [email protected] by 15 April 2023. Please include “Social media workshop” in the subject line.


Google’s head office in Jakarta. Photographer: Johan Lindquist.


Event Category:


KITLV & Stockholm University