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Race, class, and spatial segregation

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Chapter Summary

Urban society in Indonesia was stratified along ethnic and class lines, with gender and age divisions criss-crossing the ethnic and class divisions. The ethnic and class stratification took on visible form in the residential pattern in cities. This chapter starts from the working hypothesis that under the impact of decolonization, changes in the social status system were reflected in a changing residential pattern. The from-race-to-class-segregation thesis postulates that residential patterns were invariably strongly influenced by changes in the social status system. The chapter talks about the evidence in support of the from-race-to-class-segregation thesis versus the lass-segregation-throughout-decolonization thesis. The anthropological notion that ethnic categories-race being one peculiar discourse of ethnic distinction-are constructed, context dependent, subject to change, and in perpetual need of reinforcement already qualifies the perception of colonial ethnic segregation.

Keywords: anthropological notion; class segregation; decolonization; ethnic segregation; Indonesia; social status system; Urban society



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