Year published :October 2009

Size :14x21 cm.

ISBN: 9789749511077

Imaging Muslim Women in Indonesian Ramadan Soap Operas

by Silkworm Books

Rachmah Ida

Each year during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, Indonesian television stations adopt Muslim themes in virtually all of their programs, ranging from religious teaching to quiz programs to cooking shows to soap operas. The latter are Muslim-themed serials featuring melodramatic stories about upper- and middle-class women with an emphasis on prayer and devoutness.

This study investigates how these serials have contributed to constructing images of contemporary Islamic culture and urban Muslim women in Indonesia. Using textual analysis and audience ethnography, the author shows how women and Islam have been “framed” by the media in transitional Indonesia.

About the Author

Rachmah Ida is a lecturer in the Department of Communications, Airlangga University in Surabaya, Indonesia. She is the author of Watching Indonesian Sinetron: Imagining Communities Around the Television (VDM Publications, 2009).


Indonesia | television and culture | anthropology | audience ethnography | women's studies | Islamic studies


  • Fresh perspective by a young Muslim scholar on the way media portrays contemporary Islam and urban Muslim women in Indonesia
  • Provides empirically rich analyses of how Islam, gender, and class identities are constructed and articulated in religious television serials
  • Serials have opened up divergent adaptations and applications of Islamic values in Indonesian society

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