Universities and education systems more broadly are key sites for the struggles to control and reproduce statist capital (Bourdieu and Wacquant 1992:114-5). Entrance to the game of cultural capital accumulation is determined in the first instance through com petitive recruitment examinations. These examinations ‘institute an essential difference between the officially recognised, guaran teed competence and simple cultural capital, which is constantly required to prove itself’ (Bourdieu 1986:248). At the same time, universities and anthropology departments in particular have become central to debates over cosmopolitanism. Pnina Werbner (2004:11) contends that Hannerz's definition of a cosmopolitan is ‘really an anthropologist!’. Kahn (2003:409) too suggests that ‘anthropological practice is best thought of (and assessed, for better or worse) as cosmopolitan’. In this sense, we can expect university scholars and students, especially those in the humanities and social sciences, to be concerned with inter-cultural tolerance and appreciation.
Indonesia's tertiary education sector has contributed to the codification and standardisation of the national language, and to formulating the meaning of Indonesia as a nation. As such, it has long been embroiled in relations of power (Hadiz and Dhakidae 2005) and is a part of the bureaucratic field. Intellectuals more generally have played important roles throughout the history of Indonesia, firstly through ‘educational and administrative pilgrim ages’ (Anderson 1983:140) in the nation's formative period, and second, in recent decades as sites of engagement between student activism, journalism and nation building. But while many student groups have been lauded as central to social and political change, in my experience many circles have often criticised students for being idealistic but altogether unrealistic.
Apart from being a centre of government and cultural tourism, Yogyakarta is for good reason renowned as a student city. With an urban population of a mere half million, in 2000 it was home to most of the province's estimated 70 tertiary institutions (Yogya dalam angka 2000). Most large education institutions in Yogyakarta were not associated primarily with musical performance, the notable exceptions being the Indonesian Arts Institute and the Middlelevel Music School.
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