Resist or perish!

Understanding the mode of resistance among young DIY Indonesian musicians


  • Oki Rahadianto Sutopo Universitas Gadjah Mada
  • Gregorius Ragil Wibawanto Universitas Gadjah Mada
  • Agustinus Aryo Lukisworo Universitas Gadjah Mada



Resistance, Neoliberalism, Young Musicians, Indonesia, Do It Yourself (DIY)


This article examines the practice of resistance among young DIY musicians in Yogyakarta, Indonesia in the context of the post-reform era. DIY young musicians negotiate how to provide for their everyday economic needs while also upholding their music genre’s spirit of resistance against market commodification. Lately, commodification not only comes from the music industry but also from the state through neoliberal-oriented creative economy policies. Music falls into the category of a creative sector and is seen as a product to boost economic growth. Based on our empirical data, young musicians resist this through DIY practices in their music scene. We show the struggle of young musicians to sustain their musical values of authenticity (otentisitas) and autonomy (kemandirian). Instead of viewing resistance as homogenous, we observed three modes of resistance: the rookie, the in-between, and the afficionado, based on their level of commitment to being a DIY careerist. Our research offers a real-world example of theories around popular music and youth studies based on the experiences of young Indonesian musicians.

Author Biographies

Oki Rahadianto Sutopo , Universitas Gadjah Mada

Oki Rahadianto Sutopo is Executive Director of the Youth Studies Centre and a lecturer in the Department of Sociology within the Faculty of Social and Political Sciences at the Universitas Gadjah Mada (UGM). At UGM, he also holds the position of Head of Undergraduate Sociology Program. His research interests include youth studies, youth culture and sociology of knowledge.

Gregorius Ragil Wibawanto, Universitas Gadjah Mada

Gregorius Ragil Wibawanto is a lecturer at the Department of Sociology and researcher with Youth Studies Centre, Faculty of Social and Political Sciences Universitas Gadjah Mada. His research interests include youth studies, contemporary art, media, and education.

Agustinus Aryo Lukisworo, Universitas Gadjah Mada

Agustinus Aryo Lukisworo is a lecturer in sociology at Universitas Atma Jaya, Yogyakarta. Previously, he worked as Project Officer at Youth Studies Centre, Universitas Gadjah Mada. His research interests are youth culture and metal studies.


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How to Cite

Rahadianto Sutopo , O. ., Ragil Wibawanto, G. ., & Aryo Lukisworo, A. . (2021). Resist or perish! Understanding the mode of resistance among young DIY Indonesian musicians. Perfect Beat, 20(2), 116–133.