I-3. “Research of the Development of Middle-class-like Consumption Patterns in Indonesia” (H27 FY2015)

  • Project Leader : Kurasawa Aiko (Keio University, Emeritus Professor)
  • Collaborators : Mizuno Kosuke (Kyoto University, Center for Southeast Asian Studies)
  • : Naito Tagayasu (Tokai University, School of Letters)
  • : Arai Kazuhiro (Keio University, Faculty of Business and Commerce)
  • : Arai Kenichiro (Kyouei Gakuen University, Faculty of International Social Studies)
  • : Nonaka Yo (Keio University, Faculty of Policy Management)

Outline of Research

Applying the concept of ‘pseudo-middle class,’ we are going to study the character of recent consumption behavior in Indonesia, where middle-class consumption style is rapidly expanding. At the same time, we will examine trends in the supply and demand of Islam-related merchandise which is becoming increasingly prominent in contemporary consumption. During the course of this year, all research group members will conduct field research in Indonesia, focusing on consumption style at shopping malls and impact on life-style.


The middle-class in Indonesia, as a vehicle for consumption, has not yet been fully formed. In this research project, we hypothesize that consumption is actually driven by a social strata whose members, though not having enough purchasing power to be considered middle-class, tend to follow the same consumption patterns and behavior as the middle-class. This social strata can be called the “pseudo-middle class,” and in this research it is utilized as a basic concept for analysis. We will observe actual consumption behavior at the micro level in order to determine thought and value systems of the middle-class and pseudo-middle-class Indonesian subjects. At the same time we will examine supply and demand mechanisms, focusing on several commodities and services. As Indonesia has the largest Muslim population in the world, we find it important to pay special attention to the possibility of specifically Muslim ways of thinking. Inspired by “glocal” approaches we will clarify which influences will be brought to the community level through changes in consumption style, including Muslim consumption styles. This year we will focus on various kinds of shopping malls which are now differentiated into several levels (ultra-gorgeous, gorgeous, middle-class, etc.) in accordance with differing needs of Indonesian consumers.

Expensive apartment in Jakarta

Gorgeous Shopping Moll in Jakarta