The Symbol of New Masculinity: Community Response Study of Sobat Ambyar


Authors:Yulianeta (Department of Indonesian Language and Literature Education, Universitas Pendidikan Indonesia)
Rosmah Tami (Department of English Language and Literature, UIN Alauddin Makassar)
Speakers: Yulianeta, Rosmah Tami
Topic: Language, Gender, Sexuality
The CALA 2022 General Session


Abstract

One of the phenomena in the community or fans of Indonesian popular music can be seen from the existence of the legendary Javanese singer, Didi Kempot. During his 30-year career, he has consistently sung and composed songs in Javanese. The theme of the songs is mostly of heartbreak. Songs with the theme of heartbreak is a form of expression and representation of the fans’ feelings. This has become an identity for Didi Kempot’s work. He was also aptly nicknamed The Godfather of Broken Heart because of the songs he composed. Didi Kempot offered a new value accepted by millennials. His fans are known as Sobat Ambyar. The majority of Sobat Ambyar members are young millennials. Currently, the Sobat Ambyar community is spread across various regions in Indonesia, even Suriname. The lyrics of Didi Kempot’s songs, that offer a new discourse of masculinity, are the main attraction. The fans are swept away by the songs with the theme of heartbreak but with upbeat music, because sadness is not to be mourned but to be celebrated. This research was done with a qualitative phenomenological approach. The object of this research was the experience of the Sobat Ambyar in perceiving and celebrating Didi Kempot’s song. The population of this study was Sobat Ambyar and the sample was taken randomly. The primary data of this study were collected form interviews via online networks. The results of the research proved that Sobat Ambyar’s acceptance for Didi Kempot’s song offers a permissive space for expressions that are considered not masculine, especially for men. For them, celebrating heartbreak through crying, complaining, and singing openly is a new and appreciated space. Men are given new offers in interpreting relationships with the fairer sex so that they are more patient, loyal, and respectful of love. Men have the choice to make peace with themselves. Men are more able to express their failures and defeats more humanely, as they are common in every life process. It is not taboo for men to lament their failures and instead celebrate then, a symbol of new masculinity that is accepted by Sobat Ambyar and the millennials generation.

References:

Barthes, R. (1977). Image-Music-Text. London: Fontana Press.
Barthes, R. (2002). S/Z. New York: Blackwell Publishing.
Connell, R. (1995). Masculinities. Cambridge: Polity.
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Merriam, S.B. and Grenier, S.B. (2019). Qualitative Research in Practice. San Fransisco: Wiley.

Keywords: Didi Kempot, new masculinity, response study, symbol, sobat ambyar