“Social science is still marginalized today,” asserted Drs. Muhadi Sugiono, MA., researcher of UGM Center for Southeast Asian Social Studies (PSSAT).
It was stated at a press conference held by PSSAT on Monday (9/3) at the room of UGM Journalist Forum (Fortakgama). The remarks became the background of the 2018 International Symposium on Social Science scheduled for September 4-5.
Muhadi continued that social science is marginalized because it is considered as a thorn in government policy making. This happens in Japan where the study is gradually erased because it gives too many criticisms that contradict with one another.
However, in Muhadi’s opinion, these varying criticisms are actually positive because they provide a room for dialectics to the community to better understand what is happening in the country.
Meanwhile, he revealed that Indonesia is also reducing social sciences in universities on a large scale. “In fact, there has been a moratorium from the government.”
Social science is a bridge between government and community. He stated that it has played a role in policy making processes that will be implemented by conducting research on the government’s targets.
“The opposite thing also happens when social scientists examine government policies as criticism and supervision. Then, the results are publicized so people understand what the government is doing,” he explained.
Dr. Phil. Hermin Indah Wahyuni, S.IP., M.Si., Head of PSSAT, added that another problem of social science is the birth of transformative and disruptive globalization era.
“Keynote of the symposium, Anthony Giddens, who is also a social scientist, noted that social science is currently facing a completely new problem,” she said.
Hermin explained social science began to develop rapidly in the 18th century, along with the emergence of welfare state in the world. Now that information technology is growing, it brings many new problems that have never been faced before.
“It becomes a new challenge that forces social science to improve itself.”
Through this symposium, Hermin stated that PSSAT seeks to revitalize social science. PSSAT carries the theme “Social Science in the Age of Transformation and Disruption: Relevance, Role, and Challenge,” with the hope of encouraging social science to contribute more to human life.
“We begin from UGM where the study of social sciences is strong. It is proven from the six social science faculties. Moreover, the faculties’ alumni are well-known in Indonesia.”
Hermin affirmed this was the obligation of PSSAT. “As the center for Southeast Asian social studies, we are obliged to revitalize social sciences,” she concluded.