Uncover the Invisible: Home-workers in Micro-Small-Medium Industries Based on “Putting-out” System (The Case Study of the Batik and Batik Convection Industry in a Sragen-Surakarta-Sukoharjo Cluster of Indonesia)

By Arianti Ina Restiani Hunga.

Published by The Social Sciences Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Micro-small-medium-scale industries (MSMsI) based on the “Putting-out” System (POS) with home-workers (HWs) have long existed in Indonesia, but recently show significant and prominent growth that is complex and different from POS in general. The POS works through decentralisation of production, where the largest part of the production processes are taken out from factory to the HWs and their families. This strategy that MSMsI employ to enhance efficiency and competitiveness, and which –at the same time marginalises the HWs– has not been exposed. This obscured POS phenomenon is the drive of this research. Accordingly, the research includes the following characteristics: the strategies applied include case-studies in gender-perspective; the commodity is batik (not general garment); applying cluster approach; the actors are entrepreneurs and HW; and gender analyses. The analyses focus on the dialectical relationships between capitalism logic and patriarchical values as shown in three-level relational dimensions, which are entrepreneur-HW, among HWs, and HW – family. It covers a literature discourse that describes ‘invisibility’ of POS and HW-based MSMsI and uncovers it. It is argued that the HW integration to the global market has contributed to the fundamental POS transformation processes, which differentiate it from the common POS. The transformation impacts generally push HW to take strategic roles in supporting the existence of the industry, but also push aside and marginalise female HW in particular. The POS transformation happens through deconstruction and reconstruction processes which maintain the exploitative and gender-biased relationships.

Keywords: Industry, Home-workers, “Putting-out” System, Capitalism, Gender

International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, Volume 5, Issue 9, pp.311-322. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.060MB).

Dr Arianti Ina Restiani Hunga

Chairperson, Lecturer staff at Faculty of Social Science and Researcher in Centre for Gender Research and Studies, Satya Wacana Christian University Salatiga, Salatiga, Central Java, Indonesia

I’m a researcher in the Centre for Gender Research Satya Wacana Christian University (SWCU) Salatiga. My research field is gender issues and poverty from a social-economy perspective. I completed several studies at different levels around the issues of gender and poverty. A topic of my research is home-workers and micro-, small, and medium industries based on the “putting-out” system in Central Java from different perspectives. I have an international investigation sponsored by KNAW (Royal Nederlands Academy of Art and Sciences). The topic of the research was “Indonesia in Transition”. My sub-topic is ‘Coping with Crisis” I’m facilitator for gender mainstreaming program in education in central Java province. I support the local government to realise a gender mainstreaming program. In Indonesia’s 2009 Election, I work as a team leader to carry out a Voters and Electoral Education program for women in poor area in Central Java. This program is supported by UNDP. I also lecture in Faculty of Social Sciences SWCU. The subject I teach is mainly gender-related.


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