Racialized Capitalism and Anti-Chinese among Indonesian Workers

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  • Af Sigit Rochadi Universitas Nasional




racism / anti-Chinese, racist capitalism, workers, Indonesia, migrant workers


This research discusses racism, capitalism, and anti-Chinese among Indonesian workers. According to numerous preliminary studies in Western Europe, competition and prejudice drive racism and xenophobia. However, no research has been carried out on the historical relationship between immigrants and Indonesians in forming the capitalism process. Therefore, this qualitative research revealed these historical relationships and found that racism did not affect migrant workers other than Chinese. The study also found that racism was institutionalized through capitalism formation by the state during the colonial period. The Dutch colonialists applied racism in politics by placing Chinese workers as the intermediary, and foreman, thereby leading to the rise of class and racial conflicts. When colonialism collapsed, state officials required that the Chinese become an economic elite and needed capital support to do so. The result showed the harmonious relations between Chinese businessmen and state officials on the one hand and tensions between the state and workers on the other regarding racism and anti-China in Indonesia. Furthermore, over the past decade, identity politics has strengthened in Indonesia with open resistance to Chinese workers.


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How to Cite

Rochadi, A. S. (2021). Racialized Capitalism and Anti-Chinese among Indonesian Workers. Journal of Ethnic and Cultural Studies, 8(2), 261–275. https://doi.org/10.29333/ejecs/766



Original Manuscript