Pattern of Center Periphery Relationship in Small Islands: A Case Study in Karimunjawa Islands, Indonesia  

Yety Rochwulaningsih1 , Singgih Tri Sulistiyono2 , Noor Naelil Masruroh3
1. Magister Program of History, Faculty of Humanities, Diponegoro University; Centre for Asian Studies Diponegoro University; Lecturer of Development Sociology, Diponegoro University, Indonesia
2. Department of History, Faculty of Humanities, Diponegoro University, Indonesia
3. Graduate Students of History, Faculty of Humanities, Diponegoro University, Indonesia
Author    Correspondence author
International Journal of Marine Science, 2014, Vol. 4, No. 22   doi: 10.5376/ijms.2014.04.0022
Received: 04 Feb., 2014    Accepted: 06 Mar., 2014    Published: 17 Apr., 2014
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This is an open access article published under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Preferred citation for this article:

Rochwulaningsih et al., 2014, Pattern of Center Periphery Relationship in Small Islands: A Case Study in Karimunjawa Islands, Indonesia, International Journal of Marine Science, Vol.4, No.22 197-209 (doi: 10.5376/ijms.2014.04.0022)

The main purpose of this article is to analyze the dynamic patterns of hegemonic centre-periphery relationship in a remote islands (in this respect is Karimunjawa Islands) located at the Java Sea, Indonesia. Besides, this article also intends to study the extent to which the advance of communication, information, and transportation technologies play the significance role in reducing hegemonic relationships between the center and periphery. To study these issues, qualitative methods with socio-political and eco-geographical approaches were applied. The research results suggest that a center-periphery relationship pattern exists in the small island community of Karimunjawa Islands in which Karimunjawa island (the biggest island) has become a center and the smaller islands such as Kemojan, Parang, Nyamuk and Genting Islands as the peripheral area. The formation of such a kind of relationship pattern can be traced back to geographical characteristics and socio-historical events where political and economical domination as well as cultural hegemony created an unequal relationship between the two. Meanwhile, the center-periphery relationship pattern has been reduced after the peripheral community gained access to contemporary communication, information, and sea transportation technologies. Conversely this situation has strengthened the integration among ethnic groups in the Karimunjawa Islands.
Center-periphery relationship; Small islands; Dependency; Domination; Integration

Globalization and its capitalism ideology enhance the economic and political force of developed countries, while subjecting the Third World or underdeveloped countries into a cooperative and dependent mode (Taylor, 1989). Such a condition could potentially create an unequal and exploitative relationship. The main purpose of this article is to analyze at a micro level the phenomenon of hegemonic center-periphery relationship patterns occuringbetween a complex of small islands in the middle of the Java Sealocated in the Republic of Indonesia. The name of the islands is Karimunjawa Islands. Within this complex of islands, there is one island that has become a center, i.e. Karimunjawa Island (Rochwulaningsih, 2011). This article will focus on the role of transportation, communication, technology, and economic growth in reducing this unequal, hegemonic relationship between the central region and the regions which are considered as its periphery. One of the islands has shown significant progress after having access to advances in communications technology, information and transportation (Rochwulaningsih, 2013). Meanwhile this article will also analyze inter-ethnic relationship in Karimunjawa as a consequence of diverse cultural backgrounds.
This micro level study is very interesting if we compare with the World System theory constructed by Wallerstein, it suggest that globalization is a strategic medium to improve welfare and economic prosperity of the world community. Economically many countries has Metropolis-Satellite networking system as Centre-periphery pattern that will achieve progress and prosperity through an exchange transaction in accordance with each comparative advantage (Marina, 2013).Nevertheless, the theory was criticized by Andre Gunder Frank, Paul Baran, Cardoso, through dependency theory that hasspecial attention to underdevelopment countries. The theory is considered as development theory which is based on Karl Marx’s ideas concerning exploitation by the capitalist countries against the colonized countries. In this case, it was indicated that the study of capitalism exploitation could not be limited by economic system based on national state in association with imbalance class (Marx in Boudon & Cherkaoui, 2000). An imbalance also occurred in the relation among countries based on inequality (Culley, 1977). The capitalistic states at the first place have finally managed to do imperialism and colonialism on the colonial states (Ritzer, 1996; Marx in Boudon & Cherkaoui, 2000; Taylor, 1989). Relationship between the colonizer and colonized countries was based on unequal and exploitative relation. Furthermore, the colonized countries gained their political independence, it remained to establish their dominance through various forms of economic cooperation relations that created a dependency and underdevelopment. In this context, Frank took the case of Chile and Brazil that became dependent countries due to the contact with imperialism powers of the developed countries (Valezuela & Valezuela, 1981). Meanwhile Baran, in the case of British imperialism in India, British successes to occupation have drained Indian wealth, it changed the basic structure of Indian economy from independent to dependent especially on external economic strength.
Based on the above case, it is very interesting when the world system theory can be utilized to analyze the phenomena in macro level and center-periphery relationship among islands on micro level, precisely in Karimunjawa Islands. Even the dependency relationship patterns reflected any imbalances and exploitations as revealed by Andre Gunder-Frank. The unequal dependency relationship tended to inhibit social development and progress in periphery. Perhaps it will be more exciting if the dynamics of center-periphery relations and dependencies lead to emergence of culturally hegemonic relationship patterns among the main islands of Karimunjawa islands, primarily between Karimunjawa Island and surrounding small islands, especially Parang Island.
The people socio-culturally constructed self-identification as 'wong Karimun' while community of Parang island and other small islands were identified as 'wong pulau'. The term 'wong Karimun' had connotation as people living in the main island, which was Karimunjawa as the center of development of Karimunjawa islands. The term 'wong pulau' represented of people living in small islands surrounding Karimunjawa Island. Related to the matter, this article analyzes economic and political dependency in historical process has given rise to asymmetrical relationship patterns such as created center-periphery dichotomy.In surn, the asymmetrical economic and political relationship has created a stereotype that reflected the cultural hegemony of the center area towards the periphery. The center is connoted as the more advanced and developed area, while the periphery represents the deemed and underdeveloped area. This article will explore the root causes of the relationship patterns which is established between growing and developing island as center area and the other small islands as periphery. But the internal interactions among social elements in the society Karimunjawaislands as the center is also very interesting to be studied.It also examines on the development role of communication technology, information, and transportation in reducing economic domination, dependency and the cultural hegemony.
2 Method
This paper aim to construct a contextual objective reality through understanding of subjective world, therefore this research has implemented a case study using qualitative methods (Stake, in Norman K. Denzin & Loncoln, 2000). This method is based on the premise of reality that made up of social interaction (socially constructed) and therefore must be understood from the subject itself. The whole process of data was collected through methods; in-depth interviews, group interviews and participant observation, archives and documents study as well as literature study (Garraghan, 1957; Alfian, 1984).
In-depth interviews were conducted on individual respondents using snowball sampling technique, while group interviews were also conducted on respondents collectively to discuss various issues related to their views, perceptions and opinions about activities and life of small islands community (Khan & Manderson, 1992). For the effectiveness and efficiency purposes both individual and group interviews, a personal approach was previously made ​​to formal and informal public figures (Lipton & Moore, 1980). Participant observation is a particular way in which researchers are actively involved in the daily life of the subjects, observe carefully, play various possible roles in various situations, taking notes on the things that are considered important and capture images those are relevant to the research issues. Documents and literature studies were employed by using historical critical method; searching documents, archives, research results, books, various government publications, and journals which has any relevance to the object of study (Kartodirdjo, 1992).
The data has been analyzed by using qualitative data analysis methods, i.e. searching for general statements about relations between various categories of data which come into conceptual understanding of reality based on empirical findings. It is based on thought that qualitative research data should be analyzed by arranging data order, organizing into a pattern of categories and basic description units. Its categorization are adjusted by formulation of questions which is proposed in this study and is intended to provide ease of interpretation, selection, descriptions and explanations in the analysis form (Patton in Marvasti 2004). Therefore, the analysis stages of qualitative research includes: (1) comparing the incidence that matched its category, (2) integrating categories and their characteristics through comparison between categories to formulate concept and theory constructions (3) formulation of conceptual understanding, (4) writing of the acquired conceptual understanding (Glaaser & Strauss, 1980). In qualitative analysis there are three main components, namely data reduction, data display and conclusion drawing (Miles & Huberman, 1984), therefore in this context we used interactive model of analysis as below (Figure 1).


Figure 1 Interactive model of analysis, Miles & Huberman, 1984

3 Results and Discussion
3.1 Geographical context
Indonesia is often referred to as the world's largest archipelago, a name which aptly represents its 17.508 (Cribb, 2000), or so islands which span more than 5.000 km (around 3,200 miles) eastward from Sabang in northern Sumatra to Merauke in Irian Jaya. There are eight major islands or island groups in this enormous chain. The largest landmasses consist of Sumatra, Java, Kalimantan (Borneo), Sulawesi (Celebes) and West Papua (the western half of Papua New Guinea), and small islands spread among them. Indonesian geographical condition poses a pattern of history, interaction, and cultural acculturation that are tremendously dynamic. There are Karimunjawa Islands lying in the middle of the Java Sea as one of the islands in the Indonesian archipelago (Figure 2).


Figure 2 Position of Karimunjawa Islands in the Indonesian Archipelago

Astronomically, Karimunjawa Islands are located in northern, especially in 0°40'39"-5°55'00" latitude and 110°05'57 "-110°31'15". It is bordering and surrounded by Java Sea. It is required 45 miles or 83 km reached from Jepara and 60 mil or 110 km from Semarang, Central Java capital city. It consists of 27 islands, 5 islands of them are inhabited including Karimunjawa, Parang, Nyamuk, Genting, and Kemujan Island, and the rest islands are inhabited. It is one of district of Jepara which has four villages, Karimunjawa village as capital district, Parang, Nyamuk, and Kemujan. Parang and Nyamuk has quite difficult access to another island, it is spent about 7 miles away or three hours sailing from Karimunjawa capital district. Before 2011 Nyamuk village initially joined with Parang but now it has expanded as a new village (Rochwulaningsih, 2011). It has 110.117,30 ha of extensive broad area and 7.120 ha of land area (Bappeda, 2012). This geographical fact makes the islands as insular region that is dominated by sea.
It is surrounded by ocean; it has limited transportation that makes difficult to reach, and therefore the only transportation are scheduled by ferry, boat, and plane. However, it depends on the weather. Mostly, seafaring connection between Karimunjawa islands to Jepara or Semarang will be disturbed in the western monsoon on October-April, crossing activity is also disable during this season. This condition is often referred to as isolated islands when shipping and trading activity does not exist. It will make difficult for islanders to access outside to meet their needs such as buying foodstuffs, selling their fish, and difficult for bringing others of daily needs from Java.
Karimunjawa islands has very potential onnatural resources, especially in fisheries, it is provide livelihood for local people to survive. Until 2013, fish production total in Karimunjawa reach about 14.879 tons per year (Bappeda, 2012) The catches are often bringing directly to Semarang, Pekalongan, Jakarta, even Banjarmasin. It is reinforces that Karimunjawa islands has strategic geographical position and enable for local people to access and interact with other people as outer island. It gives logical consequences that Karimunjawa islands now become a place of illegal fishing in a forbidden manner, such as trawling, etc.
International Journal of Marine Science
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