Inspired by the youth pledge that is celebrated on 28 October, the Social Research Center (SOREC) of Sociology Department UGM held a discussion titled The Young Generation, Language, and Politics on Thursday (3/11) in the seminar room of Faculty of Social and Political Sciences UGM. The event aims to give re-interpretation and re-articulation of the young’s political project in the framework of youth civics.
Chairperson of Sociology Department, Dr. Suharko, M.Si., said reinterpretation of the Youth Pledge requires to position the language centrality in the negotiation of meaning and identity construction of the youth citizenship that is continuing amidst the fight between ideology, production of knowledge and hidden interests in language politics. In the present context, it seems as if language politics practices emerged that are represented in the use of words, sentence arrangement, and how to represent words such as “deradicalisation”, “multiculturalism”, or “indigenous” versus “non-indigenous”.
A speaker in the discussion, Muhammad Al Fayyad, explained this topic became interesting because the young no longer becomes a passive object that is the target of interests of economic politics. Instead, they become the one to be eyed for by many as agent of social reproduction for the interest of certain classes.
“The young people are eyed for for their new potential, not just an object or consumers, unlike in the previous studies that placed the young as consumers of pop culture,” the Islam Bergerak essayist said.
Hence, it is not surprising that the young people have now become the target of political interest and ideas that are distributed by the older generation through what he calls as affection.
“Language is actually secondary today, because factually, what is dominant is affection. One that possesses affection can possesses the young,” said Fayyad.
One way to form affection among the young, according to Fayyad, is religion. Religion becomes a slice of cake of the interest between the older and younger generations to bring up a continuity through the idea of tradition. Related on the Youth Pledge, the subjectivity of the young that is mostly conditioned by the older generation through pastime idealisation and strength, richness or intelligence images, demanded misrecognition, so the young may form their own political language.
“In the context of Youth Pledge, when they were forced to acknowledge Dutch as their language, the young people were able to say
“No, that is not our language. Through the same misrecognition, we need to try to divide political language of the groups that have the interest,” he said.
Writer Tia Setiadi said that the young generation need to have authenticity, not just be an extension of political organisations or groups.
“The older generation did not let the younger generation to have their own authenticity. The young generation, in fact, is facing new things that the older generation have never imagined, so they need to come up with their own authenticity,” she said.