Gojek In Conflict : Cultural Perspective


  • Diah Agung Esfandari Telkom University


Since its launching on January 2015, GoJek drivers have somehow survived and multiplied
despite many obstacles and protests from traditional ojek drivers (just to name a few). They
have also shown that the existence of new technology cannot be stopped, or even slowed
down, regardless of complaints and objections directed toward them. As most of the people
are now carrying smartphones or other gadgets that connect them to the web, it was only a
matter of time before GoJek or other new enterprises ―invade‖ and even ―replace‖ the
traditional practice of doing business. This paper looks upon GoJek in Bandung through
cultural perspective since it differs significantly from the one in Jakarta. Whereas GoJek
drivers in Bandung do not show any GoJek‘s symbol or identity, the ones in Jakarta are still
brave enough to wear their GoJek‘s helmet and jacket. Whereas GoJek drivers in Bandung
are banned to do their business in certain areas and tried to be invisible, the ones in Jakarta
are more flexible and notable. Hence, thru in-depth interview and field work, the results
indicate that ojek drivers in Bandung are very protective toward their territories, they are also
comfortable with how they usually do their business, and are still unwilling to use mobile
applications. The results also show that GoJek drivers in Bandung do not feel as secure as
the ones in Jakarta, they sometimes have to strip their attributes for safety reasons, and do not
―park‖ in open areas or public spaces. The reason for such differences, is because Bandung is
not as hegemonic as Jakarta, and it still holds strongly to its root (or Sundanese culture)
which brings difficulty for ‗new ideas‘ or ‗new venture‘ to be accepted by its people.

Keywords: GoJek, new technology, sundanese culture, and hegemony.