Yogyakarta, February 17th 2023─To promote the dissemination of study results by the academic community of FISIPOL UGM, the Research, Publication, and Community Service Unit (UP3M) holds monthly discussions. On Friday (17/02), dozens of students from both inside and outside of UGM enlivened the discussion at West Tuesday, FISIPOL. The discussion was moderated by Tapiheru Joash Elisha S. and attended by the Dean of Fisipol, Wawan Mas’udi, Ph.D. This discussion series focuses on Muchtar Habibi’s study findings in the book Capitalism and Agrarian Change: Class, Production, and Reproduction. This book is the result of Muchtar’s dissertation while studying at the University of London.
This study comes from a generalization of the social class of agricultural producers in the periphery, including in Java and Sumatra which is the focus of Muchtar Habibi’s study. “My study is not only studying in Sumatra but also studying in Java. So, this is a comparative study of agrarian change in Sumatra and Java. In Sumatra the commodity is palm oil, in Java it is paddy,” said Habibi who is also a lecturer at FISIPOL UGM.
The social class discussed by Habibi is “peasantry”, a class that is often automatically opposed to the state or corporations. In fact, according to Habibi, the social class that exists between rice farming communities in Java and oil palm farmers in Sumatra is far more complex. According to him, this farming community can be divided into three classes, namely capitalist, semi-proletarian, and landlord peasants. For Habibi, the findings of this study are able to challenge perspectives that have so far considered farming communities to be homogeneous group.
Wawan Mas’udi, Ph.D. also appreciated the holding of this informal discussion which was held for the first time. “We really need to have a regular forum as part of our efforts to build an epistemic community, a discussion community that is strong enough to involve all elements, from students, researchers, lecturers, and anyone who is interested in the topics we discuss. discuss it,” said Wawan.
As the first discussion series, UP3M hopes that later this kind of discussion series will be able to be held again.