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Sailing-Trading Livelihoods in Southeastern Indonesia: Adapting to Change

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AbstractSailing-trading livelihoods in southeastern Indonesia have undergone significant change during the later half of the twentieth century and into the twenty-first century. This study identifies how geopolitical, economic, legal and technological drivers of change shape sailing-trading livelihoods. Using an integrated approach, it shows how these macro-level drivers articulate with sailor-traders’ individual and group-based responses at the local level. The findings highlight that over the study period, small-scale inter-island trading within Indonesia’s borders became increasingly competitive and monopolised. In response, sailor-traders strategically adopted new opportunities that involve international border crossings, including to Australia to harvest sea cucumber, transport asylum seekers and undertake work while serving prison terms. The concluding remarks are that while aspects of contemporary sailing-trading livelihoods are temporal and unsustainable, the overall ebb and flow of livelihoods reflects a broader pattern of adaptive responses amidst ongoing change.

Affiliations: 1: Faculty of Education and Arts, Australian Catholic Universitymichelle.carnegie@acu.edu.au

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/content/journals/10.1163/15685314-12341330
2014-02-12
2017-11-20

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