Raison d'être (Reason of Being)
Indonesia is considered as the most pluralist country, in its radical sense, since it consist with more than 16.000 islands, hundreds of ethnics, and more than 600 recognized languages practiced through the archipelago. It is difficult to formulate the character or identity of Indonesians since social researches for understanding this hyper- pluralist society is always contextualized in a single objective: development or modernization.
And speaking about development, it is unavoidable that all the efforts are focused on economic and political perspective rather than socio-cultural perspective although the majority of every day's life of people is far from being modernized or even monetized.
This situation tend to ignore the dynamic structure of society which completely different from the modern countries which has been used as the reference of the development and modernization model.
The 1998 crises which led to a very important change in this country has shown that despite the collapse of economic and political structure that supported the development process during more than 35 years, the society itself remains stable and solid.
The exorbitant level of currency exchange which brutally stopped the production and consequently reduced the income brought impacts on the rising prices of goods and services and significantly the decline of purchasing power of people. But surprisingly this situation did not provoke the chaos or the disorder at social level.
It is in this situation that we witness the particularity of the existing social structure that has never been formulated as one of the endogen forces which determine how the Indonesians comprehend and objectify the development process differently from other societies.
The Foundation of Center for Social Representations Studies intend to develop an appropriate knowledge on the studies of Social Representation covering set of concepts, statement, and explanations originating in cultural practices in daily life of people in this country to understand these endogen forces that have been ignored during the modernization process.
The studies will elaborate an intensive and interdisciplinary research program in rediscovering local knowledge and develop the methodology which is suitable with that knowledge.
The Foundation of Center for Social Representations Studies will encourage the exchanges and the creation of networking studies with Asian scholars in particular, and where appropriate with the European and South American scholars.