Nastiness Diagnosis. Anthropology. Religion. Gender. Justice. A Personal Notepad For the General Public.
Terms like ‘Chinese’ or ‘Southeast Asian Chiinese’ are momentary concepts that are historically produced for particular political reasons and are socially potent of creating self-fulfilling effects by the means of its own circulation. A label that only acquired its modern bio-cultural meaning not much longer than 100 years ago, as some historians might argue, at the turn of the twenty-first century, Chinese identities for many different purposes have established global outreach and like other moderlly invented ethnic labels, became a powerufl force that can critically shape reality.
‘Chinese Indonesians’ are not a group of people one can easily identify. If we include those who reject this label simply by our own criteria of ancestry or ethnicity, we are doubly violating our anthropological persepctvies. When we find people adhere to recently invented categories of ethnicity, we look into the history of fluidity and the artificiality of these categories that contradict people’s feelings on the ground. when we find people resist a succsefully naturalized category of ethnicity that they ‘should’ belong to, such as ‘Chinese,’ we assume they only do so for some particular socio-political reaons, but they no matter what they claim, they really are ‘Chinese.’ In the first case, we deconstruct the category by denying the recognitions of our own subjects; in the latter case, we deny our own subjects’ right to decontruct the label attached to them that they find undesirable.