Geger Riyanto


In this article, I want to show the semiotic significance of violence which made its representation profoundly essential in cultural life. My argument is we cannot fully comprehend the social nature of violence provided we view it merely as an act to satisfy the desire to harm the other or to seize a contested scarce resource. As it gave off the impression of negating the others, violence, whatever its motive, tend to be interpreted as the sign of one’s commitment toward his/her group while considerably strengthening the group’ sense of identity. It is this semiotic significance of violence, I argue, which made it being reproduced prevalently in our cultural imaginations. I will be arguing this by examining cases in which the representation of violence being actively exhibited and exploited to invoke a particular sense of identity.


Violence; identity; semiotic; self signifier; antagonism


Full Text:



Bartels, Dieter. 1980. Alliances without marriage: Exogamy, economic exchange, and symbolic unity among Ambonese Christian and Moslems. Anthropology, III: 1–2.

Bouju, Jacky, dan Mirjam de Bruijn. 2014. Ordinary violence and social change in Africa. Leiden: Brill.

Cribb, Robert. 2008. Gangsters dan revolutionaries: The Jakarta people's militia and the Indonesian revolution, 1945-1949. Singapura: Equinox Publishing.

Saussure, Ferdinand de. 2011. Course in general linguistics. New York: Columbia University Press.

Frederick, William Hayward. 1993. The appearance of revolution: Cloth, uniforms, and the 'Pemuda Style' in East Java, 1945–1949. Leiden: Royal Institute of Linguistics and Anthropology.

Gat, Azar. 2009. So why do people fight? Evolutionary theory and the causes of war. European Journal of International Relations 15, no. 4: 571–599.

George, Alexander L., dan Andrew Bennett. 2005. Case studies and theory development in the social sciences. Massachusetts: MIT Press.

George, Kenneth M. 1996. Showing signs of violence: the cultural politics of a twentieth-century headhunting ritual. Berkeley: University of California Press.

Hoskins, Janet. 1994. The play of time: Kodi perspectives on calendars, history, and exchange. Berkeley: University of California Press.

Knaap, Gerrit J. 1993. The saniri tiga air (seram); an account of its'discovery'and interpretation between about 1675 and 1950. Bijdragen tot de Taal-, Land-en Volkenkunde 149, no. 2: 250–273.

McGregor, Katharine E. 2007. History in uniform: Military ideology and the construction of Indonesia’s past. Singapura: NUS Press.

McVicker, Donald. 2007. Images of Violence in Mesoamerican Mural Art. Dalam Latin American indigenous warfare and ritual violence, penyunting Richard J. Chacon dan Rubén G. Mendoza, 73–90. The University of Arizona Press.

Metcalf, Peter. 1996. Images of headhunting. Dalam Headhunting and the social imagination in Southeast Asia, penyunting Janet Hoskins, 249–292. Stanford: Stanford University Press.

Noddings, Nel. 2011. Peace education: How we come to love and hate war. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Renan, Ernest. 1997. Qu'est-ce qu'une nation? Fayard/Mille et une nuits.

Riches, David, ed. 1986. The anthropology of violence. New Jersey: Blackwell.

Roscoe, Paul. 2007. Intelligence, coalitional killing, and the antecedents of war. American Anthropologist 109, no. 3: 485–495.

Scarry, Elaine. 1985. The body in pain: The making and unmaking of the world. Oxford: Oxford University Press, USA.

Sidel, John Thayer. 2006. Riots, pogroms, jihad: Religious violence in Indonesia. Ithaca: Cornell University Press.

Siegel, James T. 1997. Fetish, recognition, revolution. Ithaca: Cornell University Press.

Steedly, Mary Margaret. 2013. Rifle reports: A story of Indonesian independence. Berkeley: University of California Press.

Stewart, Pamela dan Andrew Strathern. 2002. Violence: Theory and ethnography. London: A&C Black.

Triandafyllidou, Anna. 1998. National identity and the ‘other’. Ethnic and Racial Studies 21, no. 4: 593–612.

Van Leeuwen, Theo. 2005. Introducing social semiotics. Hove: Psychology Press.

Whitehead, Neil L. 2004. On the poetics of violence. Dalam Violence, penyunting Neil Whitehead, 55–77. Santa Fe: School of American Research.

Wilson, Chris. 2008. Ethno-religious violence in Indonesia: From soil to God. London: Routledge.


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2017 Paradigma, Jurnal Kajian Budaya


Lisensi Creative Commons
Ciptaan disebarluaskan di bawah Lisensi Creative Commons Atribusi-BerbagiSerupa 4.0 Internasional


Free counters!View My Stats