Change and Continuity among the Minangakabau post 9/11.
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I hoped to research the extent to which the Matriarchal Muslim tribe Minangakabau will be able to maintain its matrilineal heritage in the post 9/11 era. Especially with the increase in Islamic Fundamentalism and western multinational capitalism, both competing head strong to establish themselves in Indonesia. Though both these forces are in opposition to each other, they share a very patriarchal base that clearly threatens the matriarchal structure of Minangakabau culture as it is now. The binary between Islam/West has always been an issue with me. I feel that the representation of both Islam in the West and West in the Middle East is presented in such opposition that it is really hard to reconcile. Hence, I wanted to research a tribe whose very existence questions the opposing this dichotomy as it is Muslim and matriarchal (contradicts the notion of the West of a very patriarchal Islam). I was greatly helped by studying Arabic for the past 2 years and primary sources of Contemporary Islamic thought. Of course, being a Women Studies major focusing on Global Feminism, the attraction to a matriarchy in Asia is but natural for me.