Modernization and singlehood in Indonesia: Psychological and social impacts

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Karel Karsten Himawan Matthew Bambling Sisira Edirippulige


The single lifestyle has become prevalent in Indonesia, whose society strongly upholds the universality of marriage. The societal view of marriage is favorable despite the growth of individualism and the erosion of many conservative values as a result of modernization and globalization. Being single past the social normed marriage age is perceived as deviant in Indonesia. Yet the number of singles delaying marriage or choosing not to marry is increasing and following international trends. People in this category are often defined negatively and may be subjected to derogation. This review examines the relationship between modernization, including online technology, and explores various coping strategies in managing social stigma. The method of this narrative review used a set of criteria to identify relevant contemporary studies mainly published over the last 15 years and discusses the findings and implications of the literature. The findings revealed that the impacts of modernization are inevitable and are changing younger people's values and expectations of marriage leading to a delay in marriage or choosing not to marry. This occurs despite the persistence of conservative social values that maintain a strong pressure toward marriage. Singles opt to develop a number of strategies for managing the tension between traditional social values and their choices to delay marriage, including: opposing marriage ideology, using humor, gaining social support, and attaching to religious values and rituals.


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HIMAWAN, Karel Karsten; BAMBLING, Matthew; EDIRIPPULIGE, Sisira. Modernization and singlehood in Indonesia: Psychological and social impacts. Kasetsart Journal of Social Sciences, [S.l.], v. 40, n. 2, p. 499–506, aug. 2019. ISSN 2452-3151. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 22 nov. 2019.
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