Fordham University            The Jesuit University of New York

Masculinity, Changing Gender Roles, and Marital and Life Satisfaction Among Indonesian Men
Financed by:
Fullbright Scholar Program

Primary Investigator: 
Dr. Jay Wade (Fordham University) 
Project Partners:
Dr. Luh Ketut Suryani (Suryani Institute for Mental Health)
 Dr. Cokorda Bagus Jaya (Udayana University) 
Dr. Pamerdi Giri Wiloso (Universitas Kristen Satya Wacana)

Dr. Jay Wade
Principal Investigator


The proposed research project is an extension of the research of Dr. Luh Ketut Suryani and her extensive work in the community in Bali. In her article, Balinese Women in a Changing Society (2004), Suryani examined the impact of the changes in Bali on women's lives in the emancipation era since Bali became a major tourist destination. Along the lines of Suryani’s research, the goal of the proposed research project is to examine the impact of changes in Bali on men’s lives. Concurrently, the research project is an extension of the work of Marshall Clark’s cultural analysis of constructions of the masculine in contemporary Indonesian society. In his book, Maskulinitas: Culture, Gender and Politics in Indonesia (2010), Clark argued for the relevance of increased attention to the subject of men and masculine identity in Indonesia in a post-authoritarian Indonesia. 

Research that elucidates the impact of the changing male role on the lives of Balinese and Javanese men will serve to better understand and address issues critical to the personal lives of Indonesian men and women and the amelioration of societal ills. To achieve this aim, the research design will be both qualitative and quantitative. The qualitative study will involve interviewing key informants and conducting focus groups to collect substantive data on men’s experiences and perspectives on gender roles. The quantitative research will be descriptive research examining how men’s experience of gender roles are associated with life satisfaction and marital relationship satisfaction.


The research project has the following objectives: 

1) Describe the male gender role in contemporary Indonesian culture. 
2) Identify and assess the salience of men’s subjective masculinity experiences. 
3) Determine the impact of changing gender roles on men’s lives (i.e., work, family, community, and marital life). 
4) Assess the relationships between men’s subjective masculinity experiences, changing gender roles, life satisfaction, and marital satisfaction. 

These four objectives form the basis of the following exploratory research questions that will be examined in the research: 

1) How do men define male gender roles in traditional Balinese and Javanese culture? What change has there been in traditional male gender roles in the emancipation era? 
2) Which masculinity experiences are salient to Indonesian men? 
3) What changes do men perceive in traditional female gender roles in the emancipation era? How has a change in traditional gender roles affected men’s lives? 
4) What are the relationships between masculinity experiences that are salient to Indonesian men and their life satisfaction and marital satisfaction? What is the relationship between men’s perception of changing gender roles and their life satisfaction and marital satisfaction?


The research will be in collaboration with Dr. Luh Ketut Suryani, Director of the Suryani Institute for Mental Health in Bali Indonesia, Dr. Cokorda Bagus Jaya Lesmana of the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences at Udayana University, Bali Indonesia, and Dr. Pamerdi Giri Wiloso, Dean of Faculty of Sociology and Communication at Universitas Kristen Satya Wacana in Java Indonesia. The first 5 months beginning in September I will conduct research in Bali and the remaining 5 months I will conduct research in Java. 

Data collection will consist of: 
a) semi-structured individual interviews with key informants, b) focus groups, and c) survey research. 
Key informants will be persons who have much knowledge about Balinese or Javanese culture and are well connected within their communities. They will also have special insight about the larger social, cultural, and/or political factors that might affect local conditions and behaviors. Focus groups will be conducted with Balinese and Javanese men to get their perspectives on masculinity experiences, changing gender roles, and the effect of changing gender roles on individual lives, culture, and society. 

A survey questionnaire will be administered to Balinese and Javanese men to assess the following: 
1) men’s subjective masculinity experiences and the importance of these experiences; 
2) life satisfaction; 
3) marital satisfaction (for married men); and 4) men’s perceptions of changing gender roles in Indonesia. 

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