A Power Approach and the Coronavirus Pandemic in Yogyakarta


Pujo Semedi(1*)

(1) Department of Anthropology, Universitas Gadjah Mada
(*) Corresponding Author


In Indonesia, a power approach was operationalised in efforts to manage the coronavirus outbreak. In the six months since the spread of the virus began, what can be seen is that this approach has given rise to a behavioral paradox within the community. Tumulutous and clamorous measures were undertaken by the community in the first four months of the pandemic, where the rate of infection was still small. In the following months, when the rate of infection spiked, the community contrarily was as if it was inattentive and indifferent. This study analyzed this behavioral paradox through an analysis of the relation of power using ethnographic, internet, and historic data collected in the north Yogyakarta rural area. Ethnographic data were gathered using the autonomous ethnographic method, while other data were collected from chat groups and online news portals. Considering the gravity of the coronavirus, an alternative strategy is urgently needed. Hamlet closures must be selective, with clear timeframes and known outcomes. Such an approach is a micro lockdown, directed only at the environment and field of activity in which an infected resident is located and undergoing treatment, while life can go on as normal in the surrounding area, following health protocols. Further observations are needed to examine the effectiveness of this approach, as with other things emerging within the community.


covid-19; ethnography; Java; lebaran; pandemic; power relations

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.22146/jh.62339

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