Power-Relation in Dangdut: How Dangdut is Used as a Medium for Political Campaigns in Indonesia


Dangdut is one of Indonesian notably-admired and most popular musics. However, since 1970s to current days, dangdut still holds stigma related to lower-middle class society audiences. This stigma makes dangdut used by politicians or any political party to hold their campaigns along. Dangdut is utilized as mass mobilization tool, gathering people to where politicians will conduct their speeches.

This paper aims to comprehend how power relation occurs on dangdut usage as political campaign media. The locus will be hold in Yogyakarta, which focus is laid on dangdut group titled Gilas OBB which once asked by one political party to be on stage along with the party campaign.

The result of this research concludes that the power-relation occurred in this matter, is, as the matter of fact, suitable with Michel Foucault theory about how the power walks along in two paths which eventually results its own counter. Dangdut’s characteristics of simplicity and easily-understood by its audiences eventually have been seen merely as mass mobilization tool which has nothing to do with initiating ideology to society. This has been proved when power (political party) holds campaign involving society (dangdut spectator) while the people don’t relate party’s ideology with dangdut of which they experience and see it only as sole entertainment. Accordingly, Gilas OBB as the performer didn’t amenably follow the ideology of political party which paid them, and instead, they carry on and declare their neutrality and apathy approach in this matter.

keyword: dangdut, politic, power relation

Download full paper below:

Note: This paper was written for the Ipoh Music Symposium 2021.

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