The Islamic Publication Industry in Modern Indonesia: Intellectual Transmission, Ideology, and the Profit Motive

Akh Muzakki (2009). The Islamic Publication Industry in Modern Indonesia: Intellectual Transmission, Ideology, and the Profit Motive PhD Thesis, School of History, Philosophy, Religion, and Classics, The University of Queensland.

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Author Akh Muzakki
Thesis Title The Islamic Publication Industry in Modern Indonesia: Intellectual Transmission, Ideology, and the Profit Motive
School, Centre or Institute School of History, Philosophy, Religion, and Classics
Institution The University of Queensland
Publication date 2009-08
Thesis type PhD Thesis
Supervisor Professor Robert E. Elson
Professor Peter Spearritt
Total pages 17 (front pages) + 336 (body) = 353
Total colour pages 11
Total black and white pages 342
Subjects 22 Philosophy and Religious Studies
Abstract/Summary This thesis presents a study of the relationship between the intellectual transmission of Islam, the cultivation of Islamic ideology, and the accumulation of profit within the Islamic publication industry in modern Indonesia. In order to investigate the relationship between these three aspects, this study concentrates on print media, with a particular focus on printed books and magazines. It is engaged with the central problem of how this Islamic industry posits itself in dealing with its role in transmitting Islamic teachings as well as developing certain kinds of Islamic ideology and in dealing with its capacity as an economic and business activity which is theoretically oriented to profit-making. The Islamic publication industry in modern Indonesia has become an increasingly important area of interest. A number of scholarly works have appeared which allow us to understand better some of the features of the Islamic publication industry in modern Indonesia. A gap still remains, however, due to the fact that these studies have had only one focus of analysis, the ideological inclinations of different sections of the print media. As a result, fundamental problems remain, especially in connection to an examination of any relationship between the three issues indicated earlier. This thesis is an attempt to fill this gap in understanding the revival of the Islamic publication industry in modern Indonesia. It incorporates two foci of analysis, that is, an ideological and political economy approach, to uncover the material and non-material dimensions of the Islamic publication industry emerging in modern Indonesia. This study finds that the Islamic publication industry in modern Indonesia performs well through its high sales and significant contribution to the development of varied Islamic ideologies, and plays a unique role in the print publication industry in general. This industry posits itself not only as a profitable business enterprise but also as a significant da`wah (religious proselytising) unit. This mode of positing affects the way the industry deals with three key aspects of its publishing activities noted earlier. The study further demonstrates that the actualisation of these dual purposes occurs through the process of the so-called commodification of Islamic ideas and expressions within the print publication industry. The commodification of Islam itself refers, in fact, to a commercialisation which involves transforming Islamic faith, ideas, expressions and symbols into a real, exchanged commodity available for production, consumption or sale for profit. So, the Islamic print publication industry presents a commodified form of Islam in which Islamic teachings and the cultivation of Islamic ideologies become a real, exchanged commodity for profit collection. In transforming the concept of da`wah into the publication industry, Islamic publishers differ from one another, however. This difference can be seen through the diverse ways in which Islam and Muslim practices have been commodified as the major saleable commodity for publication. Likewise, all Islamic publishers have commodified different aspects of Islam and Muslim practices as the main materials for their own publication. People are presented, as a result, with different ideologies of Islam, from tolerant and progressive to fundamentalist-jihadist bents. This phenomenon develops similarly in both Islamic books and magazines. When there is contradiction particularly between the ideology and the market (profit), however, Islamic publishers develop a so-called “negotiated market”. This conception refers to the notion that Islamic publishing houses are certainly oriented to the market but at the same time they have to negotiate it with their ideology. For them, the market is so important that the decision to publish manuscripts has to consider it. The market is not everything for them, however, as it has to be decided whether the material in question contributes or discourages the development of the variety of Islamic ideology each of those Islamic publishers adopt. Attempts to understand better the Islamic publication industry with the increasing production and consumption of its products, books or magazines, in modern Indonesia need, therefore, an enriched theoretical perspective. This study shows us that a combined theoretical framework invoking both ideological and political economy aspects is useful in developing such an enriched theoretical perspective to address the interplay between these three aspects.
Keyword Islamic publication industry, modern Indonesia, Islamic ideology, da`wah, commodification, book, magazine
Additional Notes 11 pages need to be printed in colour, including page 5, 14, 94, 142, 146, 165, 172, 183, 226, 239, 251.

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Created: Fri, 26 Feb 2010, 14:21:28 EST by Mr Akh Muzakki on behalf of Library - Information Access Service