Alltags-Kosmopolitismus in Indonesien? Transdifferenz in Makassar, Süd-Sulawesi

  • Christoph Antweiler (Autor/in)


Despite the everyday use of clear, dichotomous we-they/us-them categories, people in Makassar (Ujung Pandang), Indonesia transcend binary ways of thinking and acting in several ways. Makassar is a regional metropolis and center of migration with a high degree of cultural diversity and a long tradition of intercultural encounters and religious tolerance. This paper seeks to foster the empirical study of vernacular cosmopolitanism. The theoretical approach of transdifference is explained and used to analyze data from participant observation in the urban fringe. In everyday life and talk, different binary categorizations level each other out. In addition, several regional (provincial) and other transethnic categorizations are also known. The example of transdifferent identity and signs of an emergent cosmopolitanism demonstrate that social life is more complicated than fashionable cultural theorizing would have us believe. Cultures should be conceived as systemic ways of living collectively; they are neither separate containers nor simply cultural flows or ethnoscapes. It is concluded that transdifference and local forms of vernacular cosmopolitanism should be studied comparatively both in urban and rural settings in Asia.