Sociomental of Intolerance: Explaining the Socio-Cognitive Dimensions of Religious Intolerance Among Indonesian Youths
This research explains the sociomental dimension of religious intolerance among Indonesian youths. The purpose of this study is to find out how “thought communities” and “sociomental frameworks” play an important role in shaping the attitudes and actions of religious intolerance among youths in Indonesia. The data in this study were obtained by surveying 500 high school students and in-depth interviews of 50 high school students in five regions in East Java, namely, Surabaya, Malang, Kediri, Pamekasan, and Pasuruan. By utilizing the cognitive sociology approach, this study found that the attitudes and actions of religious intolerance among youths in Indonesia are strongly influenced by the sociomental framework and “thought community” of the dominant majority of the immediate environment. Furthermore, the attitudes and actions of religious intolerance among youths in Indonesia are commonly preceded by a hatred of “those who are different,” although not all cases are like that. This research also found that “thought communities” towards “those who are different” have developed two categories of intolerance: (1) In-thought intolerance, which is the attitude of rejecting “those who are different” in thought, but accepting “those who are different” in action; (2) In-thought-and-in-action intolerance, which is the attitude of rejecting “those who are different” both in thought and action. The findings of this study underline the importance of empowering the role of “thought communities” in the immediate environment in order to prevent the development of religious intolerance.