Precarity and Piety: Preliminary Findings from Jakarta Millennial Survey 2019

Dr Ariane Utomo1, Dr Inaya Rakhmani2, Dr Bagus Takwin3

1School Of Geography, University Of Melbourne, Australia, 2Faculty of Social and Political Sciences, Universitas Indonesia, , Indonesia, 3Faculty of Psychology, Universitas Indonesia, , Indonesia

This article considers the link between the rising appeal of conservative Islam as a reaction towards precarious labour conditions. By taking the case of capital city Jakarta’s “millennials”, large cohorts of young adults and adults are facing multiple labour market challenges. These include premature deindustrialisation, lingering informality, the casualisation of formal sector jobs, and a high rate of youth unemployment. This paper argues that narratives on Islamic lifestyling are becoming increasingly appealing, as they fill the growing void left by the gradual disappearance of financially rewarding and upward-mobility enabling formal sector jobs. We use data from the Jakarta Millennial Survey 2019 (n=600, mean age=26) to look at the interplay between multiple dimensions of precarity, piety, and social identities. About 22% of our respondents reported that they sometimes/often worry about losing their jobs and/or finding a job. Among Muslim respondents, our preliminary findings suggest a positive association between job-related anxieties and the believe that Islam is under threat. We situate these findings in the broader intersections between the demographic window of opportunity, the conservative turn, and the future of work in Indonesia.


Dr Ariane Utomo is a Lecturer in Demography at the School of Geography, The University of Melbourne. Her work examines how social change are reflected in attitudes to gender roles, school-to- work transition, women’s employment, marriage and the family, and the nature of inequalities and social stratification in Indonesia.

Dr. Inaya Rakhmani is Assistant Professor and Head of the International Communication Class at the Department of Communication, Faculty of Social and Political Sciences. Universitas Indonesia, and member of the Indonesian Young Academy of Sciences (ALMI). Inaya is the author of “Mainstreaming Islam in Indonesia” published by Palgrave MacMillan.

Dr. Bagus Takwin is an Associate Professor at the Faculty of Psychology and adjunct at the Demographic Institute, Faculty of Economics and Business, Universitas Indonesia. His work spans across the areas of self and identity, philosophy of psychology, personalities of political actors, social justice, well-being and positive institutions


The Asian Studies Association of Australia (ASAA) is the peak body of university experts and educators on Asia in Australia. Established in 1976, we promote and support the study of Asia in Australian universities and knowledge of Asia among the broader community. Our membership is drawn mainly from academics and students, but also includes industry and government Asia experts. We take a strong interest in promoting knowledge about Asia in schools and in contributing to state and Commonwealth government policies related to Asia. We provide informed comment on Asia to a broad public through our bulletin, Asian Currents, and specialist research articles in our journal, Asian Studies Review. Four book series published under our auspices cover Southeast Asia, South Asia, East Asia and Women in Asia.

Conference Managers

Please contact the team at Conference Design with any questions regarding the conference.

Photo Credits: Visit Victoria

© 2019 Conference Design Pty Ltd