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The Making of the Small, Happy, and Prosperous Family: Ideal Family in New Order Indonesia (1967-1998)

When: Tuesday, May 5, 2020
9:30 AM - 10:30 AM Central

Where: Online
Webcast Link

Audience: Graduate Students

Contact: Elizabeth Morrissey  

Group: Equality Development and Globalization Studies (EDGS)

Category: Lectures & Meetings


EDGS Graduate Lecture Series

Mirna Nadia, Sociology

The transfer of power from the Old Order (1945-1967) to the New Order regime (1967-1998) marked a transformation in Indonesia’s national policies on population control. Under the New Order, family planning was perceived as essential to economic development and was included as a national program in the regime’s 5-year Development Plan (Rencana Pembangunan Lima Tahun, Repelita) that spanned 1969-1999. During the first five to ten years of the program, the New Order heavily socialized what was called the Norm of a Small, Happy, and Prosperous Family (Norma Keluarga Kecil Bahagia Sejahtera, NKKBS). This paper examines revolutionary changes in the regulation of human reproduction and sexuality by investigating state policies and discourses in the structuring of families through the national family planning program during the New Order period. What did a small, happy, and prosperous family mean in Indonesia’s family planning campaign? What did promoting this ideal family entail for the families and the regime? To answer these questions, I rely primarily on written materials from two major organizations that facilitated discourses around family planning: The National Family Planning and Population Board (Badan Kependudukan dan Keluarga Berencana Nasional, BKKBN) and the Indonesian Family Planning Association (Persatuan Keluarga Berencana, PKBI). My findings demonstrate how the Indonesian state, through the national family planning program, set the boundaries of what can be counted as an ideal family and established the family as the primary (if not the only) proper site for any sexual activities and procreation. It justified the morality of having a heterosexual conjugal family with a small number of children as a way of being a good Indonesian citizen and a member of society working toward national development. At the same time, the program shaped how the New Order regime itself was portrayed and legitimated as morally superior to the previous one.

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