Fitria Akhmerti Primasita, *Susilorini & Karunia Purna Kusciati
Giving response to a new trend in Indonesian pop music video clips aired on Indonesian television music programs in 2011, we conducted an audience research that aimed at analyzing how young Indonesian women television viewers understood and read the construction of women’s body and sexuality in the music video clips as cultural texts in relation to their experiences of the world, taking in the basic assumptions of the polysemic nature of televisual texts and of active audience. The result shows that of the fifteen research participants, only four of them are unaware of the objectification and commodification of women’s bodies in the video clips and only two of them accept the objectification and commodification. Most of the participants are able to perceive that the women’s images in the video clips are constructed to attract consumers and encourage consumption, but they also perceive that it is done by exploiting women’s body and sexuality as object of male sexual desire, commodity, and spectacle. Living in a small town Surakarta, Indonesia, in which the dominant culture is the Javanese culture and religion (read: Islam) has increasingly gained importance, the participants’ perception is influenced by both cultural and religious factors. Being surrounded by things Western, especially American, their perception is also influenced by their understanding of the commercial aspect of popular culture products. Put in the context of globalization theorizing, thinking in the ‘we’ and ‘they’ binary, the participants detach themselves from the West and Western culture, and retain their identity as young Indonesian women who embrace the Eastern (read: Javanese) culture and are religious believers, underlining the idea that in the midst of cultural globalization considered as Westernization or Americanization in Indonesia, young Indonesian women can experience and express, without contradiction, their attachments to the nation, (multi)-ethnic allegiances and cosmopolitan sensibilities.
Keywords: audience research, women’s body and sexuality, young women television viewers, globalization