VI-3. “Care Ethics in Java, Indonesia: An Ethnographic Research” (H26 FY2014)

  • Project Leader : Gochi Sachiko (Tokyo University of Foreign Studies, The Graduate School of Global Studies)

Outline of Research

The purpose of this study is to explore the local ethics of human care, especially for aged people, of rural Java, Indonesia. The ethnographical data have been collected for mostly ten months fieldwork by the author. Based on bibliographical works I will examine how ethics of care would be constructed through every day practice of interpersonal communication. This practice is not only observed in linguistic context but also in a bodily, physical one. General care for aged people is conducted in familiar settings. As such, there is a need for a comparative study with other care activities for understanding local care ethics. The variety and diversity of human care of aged people in Southeast Asian local contexts have not been significantly studied. This survey contributes to the study of relations between care practice and emerging local ethics in one kind of “intimate sphere” of society.


This study investigates an ethical model concerning the care practices of aged people in an Islam village Java, Indonesia. Indonesia faces the issue of elderly people by the population aging. The measures for this problem are greatly associated with an ethic of care that can be found in the cultural pattern that reflect regional characteristic. In the rural area, bonds of personal mutual relations of through an ethos of care are strong. As for the concept of elderly care, it is assumed that it is a phenomenon that can be universally found in the past life of Javanese. I aim to analyze an ethos of care through some documents of many aspects. Most care for the aged studies focus on social economy or policy making using a Western approach. But this study focuses on a local viewpoint and I expect that this research will be useful for studying the practice of elderly care widely practiced in Southeast Asia.

Villagers to speak with the elderly

Children and the elderly