Moral custodianship between friends: Girlhood, class, and Islamic education in Indonesia

Claire-Marie Hefner


Peer monitoring is a common feature of homosocialization among girls in Indonesian Islamic boarding schools. This article examines the important ethical work that takes place in moments of sociability between peers in and beyond school grounds. Students take part in a “moral custodianship”—intersubjective ethical and affective relationships whereby they participate in and submit to moral monitoring from peers. These relationships provide key social support for young women as they navigate new social opportunities and leisure spaces for middle-class Indonesians. Understanding these relationships offers insight into processes of ethical subject formation beyond the individual.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.1086/727777