The Value of Children among Tea Estate Workers' Families: A Case Study in a Village of West Java, Indonesia
A.D. Saefullah ii ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS I would like to express my profound thanks to Dr. P.F. McDonald, my supervisor, who has given guidance to my study since the concept of designing the project until the final completion of this thesis. I also would like to thank Dr. D.W. Lucas and Dr. S.K. Jain for sparing some of their valuable time to attend to some of the problems posed in the course of the study. I sincerely appreciate the help of Mrs. B. McDonald who went through the English correction of
... lish correction of the draft. Mr. P.A. Meyer has given time for some discussion about recent studies and other colleagues of the Department of Demography made real contributions in discussing specific problems. Ms. T. Sherlaimoff and Mrs. J. Widdowson helped in preparing the raw-data for the computer. Very helpful secretarial assistance was given by Mrs. P. Ashman. I am grateful to all of them. Some discussion with Dr. D. Etherington about the idea of the study is gratefully acknowledged. In Indonesia, I wish to thank the Dean and other staff of the Faculty of Social Science and Politics, Padjadjaran University, who have assisted in the preparation of the field study. I also wish to thank the government of West Java and other local authorities who have permitted me to collect the data in the field. Finally, my deepest gratitude to my wife, Nurhayati, who has not only given great assistance in collecting the data, but she also assisted me in editing and coding of the raw-data. A valuable experience has been shared by the presence of my children, Hanna, Budi, Cepi and Herra, in Australia. iii ABSTRACT This case study conducted in a village of Cibodas -Cikajang, in December 1977 -February 1978, obtained data on the value of children in a special type of Sundanese agricultural society, the estate worker community. The village is situated in the regency of Garut, one of the regencies under the authority of the West Java Government. Eighty per cent of the economically active population in this village were directly involved in agricultural activities and 74 per cent of them were agricultural workers. The social character of the community was determined on one hand by the traditional and religious values and on the other hand by the work conditions of the estate. There have been some previous studies on the value of children in Indonesian societies but none of them specifically on the peasant Sundanese society and no special information has ever been obtained on the estate worker community. This study attempts to fill some of the gaps in existing knowledge on the value of children in peasant society who are the majority of the Indonesian population. The Cibodas -Cikajang case study has succeeded in finding the socio-cultural background behind the attitude of the community towards their children, such as, children's socialization, family size, sex preferences, motivation of having children, and limitation of the number of children. In regard to the positive and negative values of children, the advantages and disadvantages of having many children, the economic benefits and economic costs of children, and various factors affecting positive and negative values were examined. The economic condition of the family and work condition were also studied to see their influence on the costs of children and the perception of children's work in the future.