Download Interpreting Balinese Culture: Representation and Identity by Julie A

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The most recent scholarship on Bali, that which started in the late 1980s and has
inspired further investigation into the 21st century, has vigorously challenged notions of
Balinese identity that were first introduced by first and second wave theorists. The world has
dramatically changed in the past several decades, with the development of the worldwide web,
exposing Balinese people and culture to the international community while exposing the
greater international community to the Balinese. Tourism has had a great impact on the island,
offering opportunities for financial gain, while also changing the landscape of the historical
agrarian island itself.
Scholars such as Michel Picard have been particularly interested in the changes that
have taken place in Bali over the past several decades and in how these changes have impacted
Balinese identity. He argues that the effects of tourism have profoundly influenced and even
changed Balinese culture. Balinese scholars themselves have also engaged with such issues,
presenting their own views on how Bali has changed and arguing that tourism and development
have had both negative and positive implications for the Balinese and their culture.
Balinese women, and their roles within Balinese society, have also been extensively
covered. Western scholars, such as Unni Wikan and Megan Jennaway, have vigorously
critiqued the work of Geertz, Belo, and others who argued that gender identity was muted
within Balinese culture. Wikan has noted significant gender based differences, as well as
arguing that Balinese women have largely been repressed within Balinese culture. Other
scholars such as Luh Ketut Suryani, herself Balinese, have argued that women and men are seen