“Where am I?” A Critical Discourse Analysis of Religious Representation in Indonesia



Author: Maretha Dellarosa, The Ohio State University, USA
Email: [email protected]
Published: December 18, 2021

Citation: Dellarosa, M. (2021). “Where am I?” A Critical Discourse Analysis of Religious Representation in Indonesia, 9(6). https://doi.org/10.22492/ije.9.6.07


The Indonesian Ministry of Education has re-examined the Indonesian curriculum to address the present challenges, including how to promote tolerance in students who live in a multicultural country. Textbooks and characters presented in Indonesian elementary textbooks, Buku Siswa, are part of continuous revision. However, there is insufficient consideration placed in the characters presented, including which characters are included and excluded. In fact, understanding which characters are presented means that people learn how to construct phenomenon. As a country with diverse beliefs, the Indonesian education system inserts religion as a mandatory subject, aiming to promote the values of diversity. Nevertheless, the goal of such implementation does not always meet the outcomes since there are conflicts that occur due to religious beliefs. The study aims to examine power relationships and the ideological nature of discourse that is represented by seven characters in Buku Siswa by utilizing Critical Discourse Analysis. Buku Siswa is a series of elementary school textbooks that has different levels and themes. Findings reveal that characters that represent minority religious groups are missing from learning materials, which presents them unequally compared to characters that presents the majority of religious groups. The study argues that representation is a way of respecting people.


critical discourse analysis, Indonesian elementary textbooks, religious representation