Digital Health Knowledge Seeking Behavior within Nahdlatul Ulama Community in East Java Province, Indonesia

Romadhon, Dimas. Digital Health Knowledge Seeking Behavior within Nahdlatul Ulama Community in East Java Province, Indonesia. Pilot Research. 2019.

Digitalized health knowledge that is easily accessible through internet access has been highly anticipated by many information scholars, medical practitioners, as well as government institutions in this decade. Growing concerns have been addressed on the rising trend of people consulting their health situation and doing self-diagnosis based on internet-gatheredknowledge. We can take practical examples of non-normative health behaviors from recent phenomena happened in Indonesia. As a developing country with high population of Muslims, long tradition of traditional and non-biomedical medicine, greater appreciation for good death than good life, and underdeveloped medical infrastructures including doctors and clinics availability problems in areas outside the main island of Java, the implementation of public health guidelines is a big challenge for the Indonesian government.
To help me gain better insight intothe situation, I plan to work closely through community observation with a Nahdlatul Ulama East Java Province, Indonesia. Nahdlatul Ulama community found its roots intraditional Islamic school which combines Javanese Hindu-Buddhism syncretic belief and Classic Sunni teachings.
From this pre-dissertation pilot research, I wish to build initial engagement with the community and to do a preliminaryobservation on the pattern of behaviors done by Nahdlatul Ulama members in East Java when searching for their health information onthe internet. I plan to conduct one month of a visitto the two cities, Malang and Surabaya. Data gathered from this visit will help me to specify my dissertation topic and scope and to determine my research method. Specifying my research scope and method will be important to shapingthe direction of my dissertation project, where I wish to present a discussion on how digital health knowledge infrastructure might challenge the existing behaviors of medical practice and how this digital infrastructure gives birth to new politics of patients and health seekers in the future.

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