By Iis Sulyaningsih


Innovation has been studied in a variety of contexts, including in relation to technology, commerce, social system, economic development, and policy construction. There are, therefore, naturally a wide range of approaches to conceptualizing innovation in the scholarly literature.

Innovation is typically understood as the successful introduction of something new and useful, for example introducing new methods, techniques or practices or new or altered products and services.

Innovation typically involves creativity, but is not identical to it: innovation involves acting on the creative ideals to make some specific and tangible difference in the domain in which the innovation occurs.

For innovation to occur, something more than the generation of a creative idea or insight is required: the insight must be put into action to make a genuine difference, resulting for example in new or altered business processes within the organization, or changes in the products and services provided.


“An Innovation is an idea, practice or object that is perceived as new by an individual or other unit of adoption” (Roger, Everret)

“The term innovation means a new way of doing something” ( Mckeown,2008 )

“Innovation……………is generally understood as the successful introduction of a new thing or method………. Innovation is embodiment, combination, or synthesis knowledge in original, relevant, valued new product, process and new services  ( Luecke and Katz).

“All innovations begins with creative ideas…We define innovation as the successful implementation of creative ideas within on organization. In this view ,creativity by individuals and teams is starting point for innovation: …”(Amabile et al :1996)

The innovation decision process is the process through which an individual (or other decision making unit) passes from first knowledge of an innovation, to forming an attitude toward the innovation, to decision to adopt or to reject, to implementation of the new idea, and to confirmation of this decision.


Five Stages of Decision Process

  1. 1. Knowledge
  2. 2. Persuasion
  3. 3. Decision
  4. 4. Implementation
    1. 5. Confirmation


Knowledge occurs when individual (or other decision unit) exposed to the innovations existence and gain some understanding of how its functions. Innovations may lead to needs as well as vice versa.

Innovation happens because of needs such as in pesticide innovation.

A need is a state of dissatisfaction or frustration that occurs that one’s desires outweigh one’s actualities, when “wants’ outruns “gets as.

However, innovations may create the need like clothing fashion.

The awareness of knowledge motivates individual of information and it leads to the innovation.


This occurs when individual (other decision making unit) forms a favorable or unfavorable attitudes towards the innovation.

In developing favorable and unfavorable attitude towards innovation, individual may mentally apply the new idea to his or her present or anticipated future situation before deciding. This is a kind of vicarious trial. The main outcome of this stage is either favorable or unfavorable towards the innovation.


Decision occurs when individual (other decision making) engages in activities that lead to a choice to adopt or reject the innovation.

Adoption is a decision to make full use of an innovation as the best course of action available.

Most individuals will not adopt any innovation without trying it first on a probationary  basis to determine its usefulness on their own situation. If  innovation has at least a certain degree of relative advantage, then individual will move to an adoption decision.

Rejection is a decision not to adopt an innovation.

Two different types of rejection ( Eveland, 1979)

  1. 1. Active rejection, which consist of considering adoption of innovation (including even its trial) but then deciding not to adopt it.
  2. 2. Passive rejection (also called non adoption), which consist of never really considering use of the innovation.


Implementation occurs when individual (or other decision making unit) puts an innovation into use. In this stage, implementation involves overt behavior change, as the new idea is actually put into practice. The point is reached when the new idea becomes institutionalized or regularized of the adopter’s ongoing operations.

Adoption means the exact copying or imitation of how innovation has been used previously in different setting. Sometimes adopted innovation is modified or changed by the users in the process of its adoption implementation. That is called re-invention and it occurs for certain innovation and for certain adopters. As a result of re-invention, an innovation may be more appropriate in matching systems preexisting problem and more responsive to new problems that arise during the innovation decision process.

“A national survey of innovation in public school found that when an educational innovation was re-invented by a school, its adoption is more likely to be continued and less likely to be discontinued”( Berman and Pauley ,1975).

Reasons for re-invention

  1. 1. Innovation that are relatively more complex and difficult to understand. (Larsen and Agarlawa Rogers,1977a,177b)
  1. 2. The adapter’s lack of detailed knowledge about the innovation
  1. 3. An innovation that is general concept or that is a tool (like a computer) with many possible applications.
  1. 4. Innovation is implemented to solve a wide range of user’s problem.
  1. 5. Local pride of ownership of an innovation.
  1. 6. A change agency influences its clients to re-invent new ideas


Confirmation occurs when individual seeks reinforcement for the innovation decision already made. In the confirmation stage the individual seeks to avoid a state of dissonance or to reduce if it occurs.

In the case of innovative behavior, dissonance may occur:

  1. 1. When the individual becomes aware of felt need of problem or problem and seeks information to meet this need.
  2. 2. When individual has favorable attitude towards the innovation, but has not  adopted.
  3. 3. After the decision and the implementation of innovation, individual secures further information that persuade him/her not to adopt it.


Discontinuance is a decision to reject an innovation after having previously adopted.

Two types of discontinuance:

  1. 1. Replacement

This is the decision to reject new idea in order to adopt a better idea that supersedes it.

  1. 2. Disenchantment

This is a decision to reject an idea as a result of dissatisfaction with its performance.

Two categories of adopter :

  1. 1. Earlier adopters

They have more education and an understanding of methods, so they know how to generalize the results of an innovation’s trial to its full scale use.

  1. 2. Later adopters

They also have fewer resources.

Communication Channels In The Innovation–Decision Process.

Diffusion of innovations occurred by the mean of messages sources  and  the channel that carries the message.

Two categories of communication Channels

  1. 1. Interpersonal or mass media in nature
  2. 2. Originating from either localite or cosmopolite sources.

Interpersonal  channels can:

1.   Provide a two way exchange of information

2.   Persuade an individual to form or to change a strongly held attitude.

Mass Media are relatively more important at the knowledge stage.

Interpersonal channels are relatively more important at the persuasion stage in the Innovation –Decision Process.

Mass media channels are relatively important than interpersonal channels for the earlier adopters than for later adopters.

Localite channels are relatively more important at persuasion stage in the Innovation- Decision Process.

Cosmopolite channels are relatively important at the knowledge stage in the innovation-decision Process.

Cosmopolite channels are relatively more important than localite channels for earlier adopters than later adopters.

The Innovation –Decision Periods

The innovation-decision periods is the length of time that is required to pass through the innovation-decision process. The rate o awareness knowledge of innovation is more rapid than its rate of adoption. Earlier adopters have a shorter innovation –decision period than later adopters.


Innovation comes from creative thinking and is usually aimed to make something better or adds value to the outcome of the process. The innovation can not be automatically known by people who may use the innovation or adopters. It needs time and process to socialize the innovation to be used. The process will include many institutions such as ways and media.

Innovation in education may deal with the way of how how teaching will succeed in reaching the objectives. It will the technique or method in delivering  material to student.

The creative teacher will try to develop their ability and capability. When his/her trying is successful and has significant point in achieving learning objectives,he/she develop his/her way as a new technic or method in teaching. It’s better to familrize and socialize that new technic to others.The process of innovation diffusion of educational innovation is not really the same as the explanation above.


Rogers, Everett M.1983.Diffusion of Innovations.The Free Press.New York.

___________2008.Innovation.Wikipedia.Available at


L2 Learning and teaching Jumat, Feb 19 2010 

L2 Learning and Teaching

By Arif. Z. Mustafa

Integrating perspectives

There are some perspective in viewing the study of second language acquisition. It is on the are a of linguistic, psycological, and social perspective.  The basic question of what, how, and why will be covered in uncovering SLA it self.

There are significant differences of opinion within each perspective as well as between them, depending on subdisciplinary orientations. This chapter will integrate findings from the three perspectives as muc as possible, but it is given greatest weight linguistic contribution in answer to what, to psycological contribution in answer to how, and to social contribution in answer to why.

What exactly does the L2 learner come to know?

  • A system of knowledge about second language which goes well beyond what could possibly have been taught. There is significant overlap with first language knowledge, especially (1) in underlying rules or principles that languages have in common and (2) in the potentials of language to make meaning.
  • Patterns of recurrent elements that comprise components of L2-specific knowledge: vocabulary (lexicon), morphology (word structure), phonology (sound system), syntax (grammar), and discourse (ways to connect sentence and organize information). The amount of overlap with L1 knowledge depends on the genetic or typological relationship of the two languages and on whether there has been borrowing or other influence between them. Exactly which elements are acquired within each of these components depends in large measure on learner motivation and on other circumstances of learning.
  • How to encode particular concepts in the L2, including grammatical notion of time, number of referents, and the semantic roles of elements (e.g. whether subject or object).
  • Pragmatic competence, or knowledge of how to interpret and convey meaning in contexts of social interaction.
  • Means for using L2 in communicative activities: listening, speaking, reading, and writing. Many learners develop only an oral channel (listening, speaking), or only a written channel (reading, writing), without the other, though they may reinforce one another. Minimally, language learning requires means for participation in at least one perspective activity (listening or reading); otherwise, necessary input for SLA would be available.
  • How to select multiple language system and how to switch between languages in particular social contexts and for particular purposes. What is required thus include the system of knowledge about how to process multiple languages: understanding of multilingual language processing is also highly relevant to our understanding of how languages are learned.
  • Communicative competence: all of the above plus social and cultural knowledge required for appropriate use and interpretation of L2 forms. Inclusion and definition of communicative competence as a goal or outcome of L2 learning is highly variable, depending macrosocial contexts of learning as well as on linguistic, psychological, and interactional factors.

A basic disagreement among different linguistic perspective comes in considering whether the system of knowledge about a second language is primarily (1) an abstract system of underlying rules or principles, (2) a system of linguistic patterns and structures, or (3) a means of structuring information and a system of communication.

How does the learner acquire L2 knowledge?

  • Innate capacity. Language learners are not merely passive recipients of “stimuli”. There is a creative force involved in language development (and other domains of learning) which must be an innate endowment.
  • Application of prior knowledge. The initial state of L2 includes knowledge of L1 (and language in general), and the processes of SLA include interpretation of the new language in terms of what knowledge. There is also application of what has been acquired as part of general cognitive development, as well as of all prior social experience.
  • Processing of language input. The critical need for L2 input in SLA is agreed on, although its roles in acquisition receive differential definition and weight in accounts from alternative perspectives and orientations. The processing of input in itself as a necessary factor in acquisition.
  • Interaction. Processing of L2 input in interactional situation is facilitative, and some think also causative, of SLA. Benefits come from collaborative expression, modified input, feedback (including correction), and negotiation of meaning.
  • Restructuring of the L2 knowledge system. SLA occurs progressively through a series of systematic stages. Development of L2 knowledge does not manifest itself in a smooth cline of linguistic performance but rather in one which sometimes shows abrupt changes in the interlanguage system.
  • Mapping of relationship or association between linguistic functions and forms. L2 acquisition (like L1 acquisition) involves increasing reliance on grammatical structure and reduced reliance on context and lexical items. This development is driven by communicative need and use, as well as awareness of the probability that a particular linguistic from represents a particular meaning.
  • Automatization. Frequency and practice lead to automaticity in processing, and they free learner’s processing capacity for new information and higher-order performance needs. Automatization is an incremental achievement upon which efficient and effective engagement in all language activities ultimately depends.

Why are some learners more successful than others?

  • Social context. Feature of social context which affect degree of success include the status of L1 and L2, boundary and identify factors within and between L1 and L2 speech communities, and institutional forces and constraints.
  • Social experience. Quantity and quality input and interaction are determined by social experience, and both have significance influence on ultimate success in L2 learning.
  • Relationship of L1 and L2. All language are learnable, but not all L2a are equally easy for speakers of particular L1s to acquire. Knowledge of L1 is an important component of all L2 competence in its initial state, but the genetic, typological, and historical relationship of L1 and L2 will yield differential possibilities for positive transfer of parameter setting and surface-level features, including vocabulary and writing system.
  • Age. Younger learners generally have an advantage in brain plasticity, in not being so analytical, in (usually) having fewer inhibitions and weaker group identity, and in having more years to learn the language before ultimate proficiency is judged.
  • Aptitude. Learners differ in capacity to discriminate and process auditory input, to identify patterns and make generalizations, and to store linguistic elements in memory.
  • Motivation. Motivations largely determines the level of effort which learners expand at various stages in their L2 development, and it is often make a key to ultimate level of proficiency.
  • Instruction. Quality of instruction clearly makes a difference in formal contexts of L2 learning, although this book has not attempted to evaluate teaching method.

Basic disagreement remains in the definition of relative “success” in L2 learning. Without common criteria for evaluation, drawing general conclusion is very difficult, since the definition of criteria for “success” depends on theoretical orientation. Any answers to this question must be considered within the disciplinary framework in which it is posed.

Approaching near-native competence

The judgment that L2 learners have approached or achieved “near-native” or “native-like” competence means that there is little or no perceptible difference between their language performance and that of native speakers. Because one’s L2 system is never exactly the same as the native speaker’s, most of us would not consider the final state of L2 development to be completely “native”, although we may allow for some rare exceptions.

Implication for L2 learning and teaching

Although we have seen that knowledge of L2 goes well beyond what can be consciously learned and taught, we have also seen that (unlike L1) L2 acquisition usually requires intentional effort, and that a number of individual and social factors strongly affect ultimate outcomes. We can not control most of these factors, but recognizing them can contribute to efficiency and effectiveness in second language development. As a starting point, our findings about SLA suggest the following general guidelines for L2 learning and teaching:

  • Consider the goals that individuals and groups have for learning an additional language.
  • Set priorities for learning/teaching that are compatible with those goals.
  • Approach learning/teaching that are compatible with an appreciation of the multiple dimensions that are involved: linguistic, psychological, and social.
  • Understand the potential strengths and limitation of particular learners and contexts for learning, and make use of them in adapting learning/teaching procedures.
  • Be cautious in subscribing to any instructional approach which is narrowly focused or dogmatic. There is no one “best” way to learn or teach a second language.
  • Recognize achievement in incremental progress. And be patient. Learning a language takes time.


Saville-Troike, Muriel. (2006). Introducing Second language Learning. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Postmodernism and Education Jumat, Feb 19 2010 

Postmodernism and Education

There are four objects of thinking used in philosophy; those are cosmocentric, theocentric, anthropocentric and logocentric. Cosmocentric means believing that the natural state of our universe should remain as it is, without human attempts to terraform planets for human habitation. In theocentric, God becomes the prime concern. It means that having God or divine being as central aspect of our existence, as opposed to, for instance, anthropocentrism (centres upon man) or existentialism (centres upon the experience of existence). Antropecentric uses human as the object of thinking. It means believing that humans must be considered at the centre of, and above any other aspect of reality. This concept is sometimes known as Humanocentrism. The last object of thinking is logocentric derived from the Greek ‘logos’ for ‘reason’. It is closely related to postmodernism which will be discussed more in this chapter.

Logocentric is a term made popular by the movement in philosophy loosely termed postmodernism and reflects a tendency of systems of thought born out of the Enlightenment era in which truth is objective and unified and singular in nature. Logocentric thinking asserts the objectivity of an external reality, that ‘truth’ is singular and can be discovered using proper ‘scientific’ protocols. It doesn’t mean that logocentric is all about post modernism because postmodernism arises because of the failure of modernism in which empirism, rationalism, and capitalism are dominant.

Post Modernism

Post modernism literally means after ‘after the modernist movement’ while “modern” it self reflects to something  “related to the present”. Postmodernism was originally a reaction to modernism. Largely influenced by the Western European disillusionment induced by World War II, postmodernism tends to refer to a cultural, intellectual, or artistic state lacking a clear central hierarchy or organizing principle and embodying extreme complexity, contradiction, ambiguity, diversity, interconnectedness or interreferentiality, in a way that is often indistinguishable from a parody of itself. It has given rise to charges of fraudulence. Postmodernism is hard to define, because it is a concept that appears in a wide variety of disciplines or areas of study, including art, architecture, music, film, literature, sociology, communications, fashion, and technology. It’s hard to locate it temporally or historically, because it’s not clear exactly when postmodernism begins.

The term postmodern is described by Merriam-Webster as meaning either of, relating to, or being an era after a modern one or of, relating to, or being any of various movements in reaction to modernism that are typically characterized by a return to traditional materials and forms (as in architecture) or by ironic self-reference and absurdity (as in literature), or finally of, relating to, or being a theory that involves a radical reappraisal of modern assumptions about culture, identity, history, or language. The American Heritage Dictionary describes the meaning of the same term as Of or relating to art, architecture, or literature that reacts against earlier modernist principles, as by reintroducing traditional or classical elements of style or by carrying modernist styles or practices to extremes: “It [a roadhouse] is so architecturally interesting . . . with its postmodern wooden booths and sculptural clock” (Ruth Reichl, Cook’s November 1989).

Franchois Lyotard describes the limitation of postmodernism stated as cited by Cherryholmes as following:  Simplifying to the extreme, I define postmodern as incredulity toward metanarratives. This incredulity is undoubtedly a product of progress in the sciences: but that progress in turn presupposes it. To the obsolescence of the metanarrative apparatus of legitimation corresponds, most notably, the crisis of metaphysical philosophy and of the university institution which in the past relied on it. The narrative function is losing its functors, its great hero, its great dangers, its great voyages, its great goal. It is being dispersed in clouds of narrative language elements–narrative, but also denotative, prescriptive, descriptive, and so on […] Where, after the metanarratives, can legitimacy reside? (1988).

Metanarrative mentioned by Lyotard means a story about a story, encompassing and explaining other ‘little stories’ within totalizing schemes. In critical theory, and particularly postmodernism, a metanarrative (from metanarrative, sometimes also known as a master- or grand narrative) is an abstract idea that is thought to be a comprehensive explanation of historical experience or knowledge. According to John Stephens it “is a global or totalizing cultural narrative schema which orders and explains knowledge and experience“. The prefix meta means “beyond” and is here used to mean “about”, and a narrative is a story.

According to the advocates of postmodernism, metanarratives have lost their power to convince – they are, literally, stories that are told in order to legitimise various versions of “the truth”. With the transition from modern to postmodern, Lyotard proposes that metanarratives should give way to ‘petits récits’, or more modest and “localised” narratives. Borrowing from the works of Wittgenstein and his theory of the “models of discourse”, Lyotard constructs his vision of a progressive politics that is grounded in the cohabitation of a whole range of diverse and always locally legitimated language games. Postmodernists attempt to replace metanarratives by focusing on specific local contexts as well as the diversity of human experience. They argue for the existence of a “multiplicity of theoretical standpoints” rather than grand, all-encompassing theories.

From the limitation mentioned above, there are some points which can be highlighted. Those are:

–          There is a resistance, doubt and skeptic toward metanarrative, that is rational theories which explains why and in what meaning our belief about the statements related to descriptive, normative, and evaluative in which the truth or application is out of local limitations.

–          The doubt toward a metanarrative is developed because of the development of science and technology. For that reason the limitation of the truth and the standardization of the product becomes really flexible and the criteria could be ignored.

–          Nowadays structuralism and positivism seem not to be followed any more by people but they tend to think in more pragmatic way.

–          There are two main points about structuralism. First, basically every elements doesn’t have exact meaning and it is determined by its relation with the other elements related to the situation within. It means that that meaning will be exist in relation to the structure as the system. Second, an action or production done by human will have meaning if the basic system gives the possibility in making it having more meaning.

In postmodernism, there are two main ways to get the knowledge or find the truth known as social constructionism and hermeneutic mode of engagements. These ways reject the concept of empirism and rationalism as the universal ways in knowing something since in postmodernism the individual principle is taken from social processes, like in the use of language and social relationship in general.


Deconstruction famous philosophers are Derrida and Lyotard, whom the first derives his thought from Structuralist, Saussure, and the later from Wittgenstein’s. Since the latter’s thought has been explained in chapter 2, I would like to explain about the origin of Derrida’s thought, that is Saussure’s concept of Signifier and Signified.  To start the explanation, see the figure below:

Saussure’s Schema of Sign

Saussure believes that language is a sign system; it is not merely the naming of things or ideas.  Saussure claims that a linguistic sign is a link between signifier and signified. The signifier refers to the sound pattern, which is not actually a sound but a hearer’s impression of a sound. So, signifier is the word itself that one hears or the sound image that registered in one’s brain. On the other hand, the signified refers to the concept or the idea linked to the sound pattern. When we utter ‘tree’, the idea of the tree is formed in the head. The word and the idea are different from the referent (the actual thing linked to the signifier and signified). We can touch or see the actual thing, that is the tree.  The signifier and the signified together make up the sign. According to Saussure, the link between the signifier and the signified is arbitrary because there is no internal connection between the two. There is no natural reason why particular signifier is related to a particular signified. This is demonstrated b y the differences of languages. For example, when we utter ‘arbor’, we do not refer the word to the idea of a tree in our head. In other words, there is no universal set of ideas. The linguistic system creates the meaning.

The only logical thing from the concept is that the link between particular signifier and particular signified is a social convention. One the language has chosen a signifier to link to a signified, it cannot be freely replaced by any other. For example, it is not as easy as one, two, three, to replace signifier ‘tree’ with ‘stupefy’. It might take years to accustom the use of the word. Saussure makes it a point is that the emphasizing of linguistic object is the sign; the signifier and the signified linked together.

Derrida critic upon the concept is that a signified might refer to another signified. The signified can be adopted from environmental experiences. According to Derrida, meaning is dispersed form word to definition, to word definition, and so on. He also thinks that written form is a condition for language and written form comes first before sound image. The concept of Derrida’s deconstruction is not like when someone writes a book and I want to deconstruct it to show ‘that someone’ should have written the book better. It is more like I do not repair the work for him or her as if the corrections would be a better work. Deconstructive criticism is not intended to suggest a way to make the book finally complete, but to show its necessary incompleteness. Deconstruction is used to show that a work does not adequately address something, not that it should have. The point of deconstruction is to show where something has been omitted, not because of the blindness of the author, not because the critic is smarter or better, but because that is the way things are. There are always things I don’t know, though in a very real way that I don’t know them is part of what I know.

Based on Derrida’s deconstruction theory, we can make changes into the better education by showing and pointing out where in the curriculum something has been omitted and showing the incompleteness of the education system that has been going on in Indonesia.

There are two great philosophers in education discussed in this chapter; they are Ralph Tyler and Benjamin Bloom.

  • Tyler’s curriculum planning (1949)

The basic step of curriculum planning should be emphasized to the developmental of objectives. It is necessary because they are the most critical criteria for guiding all the other activities.  The four basic questions, known as Tyler’s rationale, should be proposed by the curriculum developer are:

  1. What educational purposes should the school seek to attain?

It means that the curriculum developer should define appropriate education objectives, such as knowledge, comprehension, application and so on.  It relates with Bloom’s taxonomy.

  1. What educational experiences should be created in attaining these purposes?

It means that the curriculum developer should introduce useful learning experiences.  It relates with previous curriculum.

  1. How can these educational experiences be organized?

It means that the curriculum developer should maximize the effect by organizing the experiences.  What the weaknesses found from previous curriculum, and what to aspect that should be added for the new curriculum.

  1. How can we determine whether these purposes are being attained?

It means that the curriculum developer should evaluate the process and revise the areas that were not effective.

  • Bloom’s taxonomy (1956)

The term taxonomy in education is used to classify the purposes of education.  The taxonomy of education involves:

  1. Knowledge: remembering previously learned material.
    1. remembering;
    2. memorizing;
    3. recognizing;
    4. recalling identification and
    5. recall of information
  2. Comprehension: the ability to grasp the meaning of material.
    1. interpreting;
    2. translating from one medium to another;
    3. describing in one’s own words;
    4. organization and selection of facts and ideas
  3. Application: ability to use learned material in new and concrete situations.
    1. problem solving;
    2. applying information to produce some result;
    3. use of facts, rules and principles
  4. Analysis: the ability to break down material into its component parts so that its organizational structure may be understood.
    1. subdividing something to show how it is put together;
    2. finding the underlying structure of a communication;
    3. identifying motives;
    4. separation of a whole into component parts
  5. Synthesis: the ability to put parts together to form a new whole.
    1. creating a unique, original product that may be in verbal form or may be a physical object;
    2. combination of ideas to form a new whole
  6. Evaluation: the ability to judge the value of material for a given purpose.
    1. making value decisions about issues;
    2. resolving controversies or differences of opinion;
    3. development of opinions, judgments or decisions

The explanation above refers to a hierarchy of educational objectives, which divides from the simplest behavior to the most complex.

The comparison of Tyler’s and Bloom’s Structural Characteristic

No Tyler’s Bloom’s
1 Curriculum design has a historic characteristic The characteristic of taxonomy is arbitrary
2 Curricular meaning is determined by connection of the steps in the process Meaning of each educational purpose is determined by its connection to others in a system
3 Teacher and student are not the center of curriculum Teacher and student are not the focus
4 Curriculum design is neutral in ideology Taxonomy is neutral in ideology
5 Shows binary opposition in educational discourse Marked by binary opposition

Unfortunately, both Tyler’s (1949) and Bloom’s (1956) has some weaknesses.  First, the concentration to structure weakens the position of human, which are teacher and student.  In fact, they are the main characters which will get aim from education.  Second, getting meaning through binary opposition contains weak point.  Because meaning is never fixed between word and definition, and text only provides the stability of it.   Third, the ideology of both contexts cannot be neutral.  Faucault pointed that curriculum planning and taxonomy can never be independent from history, authority, and interest.

The Mysteri of Language Jumat, Feb 19 2010 

Language Mystery: From Meaning to Theory

The paper covers discussions for these following topics:

  1. The meaning of ordinary language
  2. The importance of language theory and philosophy
  3. The meaning of mastering language
  4. The basic theories of language

This paper is in a form of chapter report; the discussions were compiled from our group’s opinions and point of views. The correct or incorrect paths or results are not our main purpose in reporting this chapter. Humbly to say, our main concern is to make ourselves understand of the theories and basic philosophies that lie beneath the meaning of language. We do not wish to force the discussion we had to become the idealism or the right or wrong answers for the questions that might appear.

I. Introduction

Alwasilah opened the chapter by quoting one line taken from the Holy Quran, mentioning that humans are created as their most perfect condition. (QS. Attin: 4) The quotation was chosen to be the introduction in this chapter for one main reason. The perfectness of human is completed by the ability to grab, absorb, processing and experience meanings. To experience something is considered as the ability to see patterns from observable phenomenon. These criteria help humans to be able to improve their way of seeing things in their life.

Phoenix (1964) reported by Alwasilah ( 2008: 39), mentioned six categories of meaning which is derived from the analytical understanding of the phenomenon. They are: Symbolic, empiric, esthetic, synnoetics, ethics and synoptic. The specification comes to one part of explanation which is symbolic. It is because symbolic is considered as the basic of other fives.

Symbolic covers (1) ordinary language (2) math and (3) non-discursive symbols, such as sign, ritual, rhythmic patterns and etc. For symbolic covers the ordinary language, it explains why language philosophy is important to explain other philosophies. Ordinary language covers all aspect without differentiate certain groups, it is understood by any groups of human from different professions and positions.

II. Trying to see the essential of philosophy

Ordinary language has its own concern; the academic aspects that cover the visible and touchable part of language (linguistic, philology and anthropology). Linguistic itself covers two fields, which are: phonology (covers the sound) and syntaxes (covers the grammatical structure). These aspects are considered enough for the ordinary language aspects. Meanwhile, Chomsky (reported by Alwasilah 2008: 40) differentiates between syntax and semantics. Whereas syntax is able to describe the format of language in a visible and structuralize information, while semantic has more complicated way to be described. It is very invisible sometimes untouchable.

In this part, language philosophy plays its roles. Philosophy covers and digs out the language meaning within its deepest part, or we might borrow the term from the books, within its roots. Philosophy helps us to give different scope or point of view from the limitation of language. Language can describe something finite, while infinite part sometimes remains in the dark side. Philosophy prevents that to happen. The radicalism of philosophy helps to connect each meaning from the compilation of findings in language meaning. Philosophy sometimes has to use metaphor to describe the meaning that it wants to share

Alwasilah compiled several theories of existentialism (2008: 41) with the purpose of answering several questions regarding the importance of language philosophy. The questions are as follows:

According to Derrida writing is the first instead of oral/ speech language.

It can be true because in writing, symbols can be used. It means that through writings people sometimes could describe something that cannot be described by speech language. Again, writing consists of symbols, sign and drawings, as long as it has meaning and use as the means of communication.

Philosophy is ambitious. Are the lines of the given theories are also ambitious?

Ambition always appears in philosophy for it seeks answers. However the theories given cannot be described as ambitious theories, because it is in metaphor. Ambition is clear, meaning that it has clear definition, goal and media while metaphor is tangible and abstract. It is very contradictive but it does not mean it cannot go in the same path.

  1. Philosophy reduces all matters into something metaphor- alike. Agree. No further question about this part.
  2. Linguistic statements can be understood if there is no paradox within itself.

It is very hard to explain, linguistic terms or statements has two parts: semantic and syntax. These paradoxes actually get along pretty well. When we have the structure of a sentence, the meaning will appear. We will get lost in meaning if we cannot describe further about something through appropriate structure.

Every language statements or terms can be seen as a politic action to dominate other language’s actions.

It will depend on meaning, which will lead to further question on situation and character.

According to Phoenix, the mastery of language depends on four key words: usage, symbol, meaning and communication. How is the language mastery of philosophers based on Phoenix’s statement?

Philosophers use metaphor to get to the bottom of the matter. Metaphor covers the four aspects given by Phoenix. So if we want to talk about the level, of course it will be very difficult, it cannot be compared.

  1. What is your opinion on the quotations given (phonologically, morphologically and syntactically)? One word- ambiguous!
  2. For some readers, quotations given are confusing and less communicative. Why?

Because metaphor is not colloquial language. Kind of language that you can use anytime and anywhere. Metaphor is communicative in its way. All people can accept confusion  but not all people are willing to find the way out of the confusion.

Can you compare the creative process between a poem and philosophy quotes given?

No. Poem can be written when there is certain inspiration appears. Philosophy is the inspiration, it has no boundary. It keeps on going.

How to grab the meaning of the quotations given so it can be meaningful for wide range of society?

Communicatively implemented in daily life. Find the closest situation in life.

Then again, Philosophy does not seek answer, it creates questions.

III. Mastering Language

In general point of view, mastering language means the ability to use symbols meaningfully to communicate. It will relate with Phoenix theories, which are described as follow:

  1. The indicator of language mastery is the ability of a person in implementing speaking and writing. In this stage the mastery of vocabulary by one person and how we use it in speaking and writing are the main judgment.
  2. The mastery of language continues when a person reach the step of communicating his language within its society. In the end, he becomes the part of the society who has the same tune of language.
  3. The next is meaning grabbing. It means that human is able to grab the meaning and know the real utterance of language, instead of only copying each word like parrots do.
  4. The final is symbolization, one aspect that cultured the mastery of language

IV: The Basic Theories of Language

Language related with the production of the mind. It is hoped that the theory and the study of language could explain the essential of mind. Theories about language are the abstraction of language masters’ thought upon the language phenomenon. It means that language science will consider the aspect below:

  • Variety: Variety occurs in every phenomenon, including in language. The varieties are absolute and tendencies.
  • Relativity: Language changes and develops, it happens along with the development of humanism.
  • Causal effect: Language change happens because there is always a trigger behind it.

V. The Language Theory and Scientific Method

It is been said that human reach the understanding of universe by language. Erikson quoted by Hoover (1980) differentiated three kinds of concept:

  • Fact, reality and actuality: touchable and clear things that can be define.
  • Theories role: identification and truth test.
  • Language theory: Deals with speculation and empirical aspects. It derives from limited thought that can be poured down in systematic symbolic concrete form.
  • Chomsky’s theory: Form Chomsky’s over all review about language theories, the highest theory is the one that covers explanatory adequacy. It means that it is real and has limitation. The limitation stated in these points:

–          Observational adequacy : within these criteria; phonology, morphology, syntax and semantic

–          Descriptive adequacy : enhance the true speaker intuition

–          Explanatory adequacy : understandable by community

VI. Conclusion

In short, emphasizing in the relation between ordinary language and language philosophy; language are exist as it existence: limited and language philosophy try to covers the limitation by creating metaphor that can cross the boundaries of limitation. The relation between the two: completing and competing.

The Meeting Point between Vygotsky’s and Piaget’s Theory in the Language Development Jumat, Feb 19 2010 

The Meeting Point between Vygotsky’s and Piaget’s Theory in the Language Development*

By Zainurrahman

The Role of Interaction in Human Knowledge Acquisition

Vygotsky and Piaget may not be in a line and this brief discourse does not mean to place both experts in a same position. Plenty of literatures have mentioned their philosophy altogether or separately, and for the sake of language philosophy, hereby I will present the meeting point of both experts’ theory of human skill development; in this case, human language development.
As you can see, the title of this article is started by word “interaction”. Honestly, I believe that interaction is the main element in human skills development process, very special in language development process. Generally, human have at least two types of knowledge that lately are useful for their skills development; they are (1) logic and (2) experience. Both logic and experience are managed by human mind to make it is accepted as rational and important to be developed. Everything become logic because it can be thought, experienced and also human can interact with it. However, human mind sometimes must deal with plenty of limitation and then bring human to a final line; here rationalization becomes an attempt to make irrational things to be rational.
Whatever the problem, both logic and experience need the interaction process. Interaction with the world make human recognize, know and understanding the world. In other side, interaction will build experience as the affect or impact from the interaction itself. Once again, here, human skills are developed by interaction. It sounds like uncompleted theory. Let us walk around and see what can be a foundation of this thesis. However, I still stand to present language development theory, not the other.

Vygotsky and Interaction
Interaction may have a little room in Vygotsky’s philosophy of language development. However, in his Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD), he emphasizes the interaction process in language learning. He believes that human (alone) will deal with difficulties in developing their language skills and it will be handled easier if they deal the difficulties with other human (together).
In language field, human develop their language skill by using it every day. Interaction plays important role here, where language is used as the interaction tool. By using language for interaction, human language skill will be developed. The process of the language development from stage to stage is called “development from actual to potential.”
In interaction, error feedback and error correction take place; not only that, new experience also takes place. Human find something new in every stage of interaction. The first stage is communicating idea and the second stage is responding someone’s idea. Here, communicating and responding idea will generate particular language development; both in expressing and also impressing. The last stage in interaction is packaging new idea. The language development generated by interaction stage is vary, depends on the content and the goal of interaction. Thereby, it can be said that interaction mediate human to develop their language skill.

Piaget and Interaction
Interaction in Piaget’s philosophy has a bigger room than Vygotsky, if I dare say. Piaget places interaction as the second important element in his theory of cognitive development. The other elements are organic development and the neurological readiness, training and experience and equilibration and its mechanism. Language development and cognitive development is in a line. As Ideolinguistics believes that human use language to think, to recognize object, and to manage idea. Thereby, human cognitive ability only will be developed with language; and by using the language, the language will be developed.
Piaget believes that human learn or find language from their social environment and through the frequently interaction by using the language, human language will develop. For the example, a child acquires his or her first language by imitating parent’s language. However, the child’s language will only be developed when he or she tries to use it. If the child makes mistakes, the parent corrects it.
If Vygotsky uses the term of “actual to potential development”, Piaget should use the term “transition” because although interaction is the meeting point of their theory of human, especially children, language development but Vygotsky focuses on the ability meanwhile Piaget more focuses on the cognition. Ability or skill is developed, it can be measured. Nevertheless, measuring cognition change is another story; it is more appropriate to say cognition change is recognized then measured. The children experience a transition process from one cognition level to other cognition level.
Children cognition level is not about which the lower is and which the higher is, but it is recognized that it is changed. I will not elaborate those problems, because here I just mention to you that interaction is the meeting point of both experts philosophy of human language development.

*This article is written by Zainurrahman on May 09th 2009, and downloaded from Zainurrahman’s Personal Journal of Philosophy of Language and Education. Click here to download PDF version of this article

You can visit other personal journal of philosophy of language and education in

A Philosophical Discourse on Language Jumat, Feb 19 2010 

A Philosophical Discourse on Language (Ludwig Wittgenstein)

by Marni Riddle

Language and philosophy have an intimate connection to one another; without a philosophical examination of the meanings and structure of language, we cannot easily ascertain the objective truth of the statements we make, nor can we usefully discuss abstract concepts. The philosophy of language seeks to understand the concepts expressed by language and to find a system by which it can effectively and accurately do so. This is more difficult than it appears at first; philosophers are looking for a theory of language which avoids the minute errors of meaning and usage which occur in all discussions of abstract concepts and which tend to lead those discussions into complicated dead-ends.
Since so much of philosophy is currently concerned with the linguistic representation of reality, the bond between the philosophical and the linguistic is growing stronger. Philosophers can only write syntax for the languages they want to use in expressing theory with some knowledge of linguistics; and linguists can use philosophical principles to solve problems of meaning and syntax (Moravcsik 89). This strong link can be exploited to the advantage of both sides.
In recent history philosophers have struggled with the question of precision in language and have sought to construct a system under which meanings can be discussed without danger of falling into circular or metaphysical traps. Two major approaches to this question have arisen in scientific circles of the twentieth century. Logical empiricism, also known as logical positivism, seeks to produce a language which consists of symbols combined precisely in accordance with specific rules; this would eliminate the philosophical convolutions that arise from the use of imprecise and confusingly ordered language (Sengupta 14). Ordinary language theory, on the other hand, suggested that these philosophical problems appear when language is used improperly; the language itself is perfectly acceptable and can be easily applied to the discussion of abstract and philosophical concepts without undue modifications, as long as it is used and interpreted properly (Katz 69). Each of the! ! se movements in linguistic philosophy had its strengths and weaknesses, and its supporters and detractors.

Pure metaphysical speculation which is not based on fact is, to the empiricists, neither relevant nor useful. The only truth, in this philosophy, is that which is mathematically provable or experimentally observable (Katz 18-19). This truth can be divided into two categories: analytic truths are based on inherent meanings and can be observed through the application of reason, if not experiment; synthetic truths are those facts which are obtained from the experience of reality (Quine, in Rosenberg & Travis, 63). How does this apply to linguistic philosophy? Any system of communication must, in order to be meaningful, include some way to represent the truth accurately; any empiricist will tell you that this truth is only valuable and meaningful if it can be considered absolute and provable. In order to be perfectly accurate in representing the truth, language must conform to a certain set of specifications designed to prevent it from wandering into speculation, and under which it becomes possible to ascertain absolutely the truth of any statement. These rules are called formalist semantics (Moravcsik 27). Syntax differs from semantics in that syntax guides the proper formation of elements of a language into statements, whereas semantics consists of the correct association of elements of language with elements of the real world (Moravcsik 28).
In one view, philosophy itself cannot be anything other than logically empirical because the purpose of philosophy is to elucidate and clarify truth, and this clarification consists of the examination of language to see that it conforms to the concrete facts of reality. The philosopher’s task is to analyze language and untangle the convolutions of common language into the simplicity of logical language (Sengupta 23). Sengupta quotes Ayer, one of the mainstays of the logical positivism movement, as saying that the philosopher “is not concerned with the physical properties of things. He is concerned only with the way in which we speak about them” (23). Thus philosophy must be empiricist and formalistic in order to discuss aspects of reality with accuracy and truth.

Origins and concepts
The names most commonly associated with logical positivism come from the philosophical movement known as the Vienna Circle. This group of philosophers included such famous names as Carnap, Schlick, and Godel; their main goal was to establish a context for philosophical thought which relied on observable fact and disregarded the metaphysical (Qadir 1-6) They came together in 1920’s Vienna to create a philosophy that would oppose metaphysics and provide a basis for clarity in science.
In the 1930’s, Rudolf Carnap, one of the chief logical positivists, developed what he called Logische Syntax. The aim of this work was to describe a theory of the logical syntax of language that would allow meaningful sentences to be created without reference to the meanings of specific symbols or words. This theory would be held to the same strict standards as a scientific theory (Cirera 221, 229). Essentially logical syntax formed a mathematical model of language which could be manipulated and proved just as any other mathematical or logical construct. It is a reductionist model, attempting to show that the logic of sentences is based upon the order of the word-symbols in that sentence, and do not require any reference to anything outside that sequence (i.e., reference to the semantical associations of the word symbols) in order to be meaningful (Cirera 292). In other words, a sentence arranged according to formalistic syntax will be meaningful no matter w! ! hat the word-symbols themselves represent.
G.E. Moore, although not an original member of the Vienna circle, was another philosopher whose work furthered the aims of logical positivism; he helped to formulate the movement’s view of the purpose of philosophy. In his view, as Qadir summarizes, “the business of Philosophy is clarification and elucidation of concepts and not the discovery of facts” (8). This concept is one of logical positivism’s unique identifiers, distinguishing it from definitions of philosophy which purport that the task of the philosopher is to provide new knowledge.

The metaphysical reply
Syed Ataur Rahim, a professor at the University of Karachi, composed for his doctoral thesis a reply of metaphysics to the attacks posed by logical positivism. He asserts that the logical positivists misdefine metaphysics in their attempt to disarm it; metaphysics is not meaningless or unrelated to facts, but rather is “an epistemologico-ontological inquiry” (186). Rational metaphysical inquiry is necessary for the construction of rational thoughts and for the furthering of scientific inquiry; unobservable ideas, which would be considered irrelevant by logical positivists, must be entertained before the formation of rational explanations about reality can take place (187). Therefore, a language based only on the concepts of logical positivism would be bereft of the contributions of metaphysics, and would lead only to a sterile field of scientific thought.

Logical positivism and linguistics
During its heyday, the movement contributed several theories to the study of language. Its distinction between cognitive and non-cognitive meanings separated the functions of language into informational and emotional categories; only the first category, however, was considered meaningful by the empiricists (Qadir 22). Logical problems arise when the second category is treated in the same way as the first; it must be remembered that a statement with qualities of emotion or appeal is not subject to distinctions of truth or falsity, and is therefore meaningless (Qadir 22). Carnap suggested that both of these two categories could be found in any one sentence; but only the cognitive portion of the sentence was significant; all emotive value was irrelevant (Feigl 6). Additionally, a line could be drawn between the significant and the non-significant uses of language; questions of religion and ethics were considered insignificant, since they did not refer primari! ! ly to aspects of the material world, and only language which could be dealt with utilizing methods of empirical proof was considered significant.
The ideal language sought by the empiricists has several identifiable properties. It was intended primarily to add conventions to language at points where the guidelines of semantics and syntax were loose enough to allow metaphysical speculation or, equivalently, nonsense (Katz 21). For instance, Katz cites Carnap, one of the founders of the Vienna Circle, as suggesting the inadequacy of normal grammar because it allows sentences such as “Caesar is a prime number” to be considered grammatically correct (22). This ideal is based on mathematical and logical models; it represents the structure of a natural language but supposedly eliminates the vaguenesses and possibilities for misconception to which natural languages are prone.
In essence, logical empiricists have several main postulates. Anything that is not based on rational fact is not eligible for philosophical contemplation. Philosophy’s main concern is with science and scientific language. The only way to make sure that language remains factual is to devise an artificial language that can only be used to create statements which refer to analytically or synthetically true information (Sengupta 24-25).

Possible flaws
Formalism does have its faults, however. It presumes that all meaningful concepts can be expressed in terms of synthetically or analytically provable language, which may not necessarily be true; such a view eliminates the possibility of statements which have validity although we have yet to find methods of proving them (Sengupta 40). It is difficult to translate assertions from the ideal logical language into meaningful common language, since the former assertions are devoid of the added non-cognitive meanings which we commonly use to clarify cognitive meanings; and formalistic syntax cannot accommodate certain concepts of significance that are associated with normal language, nor can it express ideas above a certain level of complexity (Sengupta 41-43), since increased complexity often incorporates philosophical concepts which have a partially metaphysical nature.
In some ways the absolute refusal of empiricism to accommodate the idea of the existence of concepts other than the concrete may have contributed to its fall from philosophical popularity. This narrowed view cut off the logical positivists from consideration of all the possibilities of language. As Duke undergraduate and philosophy aficionado Allan Stevens noted, “Imagine the scientist who demands logical proof for every idea he acquires. There are two courses of action open to him. He can either spend all of his time trying to rationally verify minor reasonable truths, or he can just disregard the ideas that it is inconvenient to prove. Either example would extremely limit his total body of knowledge” (Mentation 1:1).
Although this movement was considered by some to be more concerned with the reform of science than of language, one of logical positivism’s major foci was the reform of language to make it more precise and so to make it a better tool for the description of reality. This goal was never realized before the movement decreased in strength, although modern linguistic theory owes a great deal to empiricist concepts

Logical empiricism did not go unchallenged by the philosophical community. One of the main counter-movements was called ordinary language theory; this theory suggested that everyday language without any special, more formal semantics could be used to discuss philosophical thought; it just had to be used correctly. Errors in usage, not deficiencies in the structure of language, led to philosophical misconceptualization (Katz 69). Ludwig Wittgenstein, originally a member of the positivists’ Vienna Circle, had a major influence on the formation of this theory.
Although at first he agreed with the principles of logical empiricism, Wittgenstein came to believe that it was too scientific for the topics it attempted to address and could not accommodate those valid parts of philosophical thought which were characterized by ambiguity (Katz 70). The artificial language created by the empiricists was overly scientific and tried to assign absolute meaning to non-absolute terms. Some terms necessarily possessed a degree of vagueness and could not be bound by the strictures of formalism, or else some valuable meanings would be lost (Katz 70-71). The search for understanding would not benefit so much from an insistence on absolute and perfect precision of meaning, created within the framework of an artificial logical language, as it would from the correct usage of the already existing language and the avoidance of errors propagated from its misuse (Katz 75).
Wittgenstein and ordinary language
Although Wittgenstein originally supported the philosophy of the Vienna Circle, he later reconsidered his views. His metamorphosing views embody the conflict between logical empiricism and ordinary language because over the course of his own scholarly career he supported the positions of both sides, at some point switching his consideration from one to the other. His Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus is a standard reading in logical positivism; his later Philosophical Investigations refutes and criticizes the thought described in the Tractatus. The main thrust of the Investigations’ opposition to the ideas described in Table 1 is that the logical, fixed form of the world and the objects in it, described by the empiricists in the formulation of their theories, is in itself a metaphysical construction. Empiricism relies on the existence of a fixed form of the world because only in this fixed state can it be assured that the real! ! world is composed of unassailable facts to which language can refer (Malcolm). In his later philosophical work, Wittgenstein began to question the unassailability of this reality; Malcolm describes his new view as a realizatio n “…that the formation of concepts, of the boundaries of what is thinkable, will be influenced by what is contingent – by facts of nature, including human nature” (19). Therefore the logical suppositions of positivism were themselves metaphysical concepts, as constructs of an ideal world.
Wittgenstein considered the positivistic view, that underneath all apparently complex statements and concepts lie essentially and absolutely simple elements of reality, to be illusory (Malcolm 53). This simplicity was necessary to the aforementioned construction of a fixed and logical universe to which formalistic language could be applied. But reality has not been shown to reduce to these simple elements and thus the assumption that it does is unjustifiable (Malcolm 52).
Wittgenstein also altered his conception of the proposition as correspondent to reality. In the positivistic view a thought is a representation of a certain specific reality (Malcolm 100). Propositions are verbal expressions of specific thoughts; in order for the propositions to be logically empirical, the thoughts must likewise be reducible to simple and fixed elements, which Wittgenstein decided was unnecessary. Any method by which thoughts and propositions were connected with aspects of reality could be interpreted in various ways by various people, and thus thoughts on the same real object could differ from one another according to the path through which the object was intellectually interpreted (Malcolm 100). Therefore, propositions (correspondent to thoughts) which purportedly referred to the same aspect of reality might not be equivalent, and so the empiricist principle that a statement should have a singular correspondence with reality would not be maintain! ! ed.

POSITIONS TAKEN BY THE TRACTATUS WHICH WERE LATER REJECTED IN THE INVESTIGATIONS.There is a fixed form of the world independent of whatever is the case.
The fixed form of the world is constituted of things that are simple in an absolute sense.
The simple objects are the substratum of thought and language.
Thoughts, composed of “psychical constituents,” underlie the sentences of language.
A thought is intrinsically a picture of a particular state of affairs.
A proposition or thought cannot have a vague sense.
Whether a proposition has sense cannot depend on whether another proposition is true.
To understand the sense of a proposition it is sufficient to know the meaning of its constituent parts.
The sense of a proposition cannot be explained.
There is a general form of all propositions.
Each proposition is a picture of one and only one state of affairs.
When a sentence is combined with a method of projection the resulting proposition is necessarily unambiguous.
What one means by a sentence is specified by an inner process of logical analysis.
The pictorial nature of most of our everyday propositions is hidden.
Every sentence with sense expresses a thought which can be compared with reality.
Adapted from Nothing is Hidden, Malcolm 1986.

Ordinary language theory constituted a major shift in view away from empiricism. Instead of being considered a poor vehicle for philosophical thought, language came to be viewed as perfect. Sengupta quotes Gellner’s justifications for ordinary language: “(i) it is its own standard (there can be no other) and so there can be no ‘improvements’; (ii) ordinary language has stood the test of time; (iii) innovations are possible but extra-philosophical, and also (iv) innovations are called for in technical subjects not in ordinary language” (40).
The ordinary language philosophers believed that empiricists made the assumption that statements about reality had to be logically based on events observable in reality; it was considered more productive to examine the workings of language in order to find out more about unobservable reality. Additionally, the formalist attempt to indicate truth by underscoring the absolute meanings of terms has not been fruitful (Sengupta 40).

At the present time neither logical positivism nor ordinary language theory are considered useful for the modern study of language. They both possess the flaws described above in their respective sections, and due to their inadequacy another theory had to be devised. Approaches to this theory have been attempted by several noted linguistic scholars, including Jerrold Katz at Harvard and Peter Achinstein at Johns Hopkins.
The theory of language that Katz developed was designed to explain the theory of linguistic structure while remaining true to the factual basis of natural language. Essentially, the explanation posited is a model of communication which suggests that a speaker is following rules with a definite structure when he creates or understands novel sentences; these rules allow him to ascertain meanings compositionally, deducing the meaning of a sentence from the meanings of its parts (Katz 176-177). In this way his theory compromised between empiricism and ordinary language; it asserts that thoughts and ideas are unobservable but that this is no more a meaningless piece of metaphysics than the scientific assertion of unobservable and theoretical particles. The scientific method allows the scientifically unobservable to be considered valid; just because there is no similar method for establishing the empiricism of ideas doesn’t mean that they are any more metaphysical (Katz 18! ! 1).
Peter Achinstein examined a contemporary positivist approach which, although it did not attempt a reconciliation with ordinary language, still modified the original version to adapt it to modern thought. In his view, the anti-positivist was more concerned with the main features of concepts and ignored certain parts that might not apply in all cases. The positivist, on the other hand, wants to give all concepts an absolute and complete set of attributes that are empirically provable and uniform (Achinstein 279). The view which lies between these suggests the necessity of a general set of conditions to define concepts; however, instead of eliminating those which do not fit, this structure can be used to understand more about the concepts which are slightly outside the given structure (Achinstein 289-290).
As we draw closer to a time in which concepts such as love and the soul can be expressed in biological terms, connected intimately with brain tissue and the workings of the body, the scientific language of the logical positivists appears more and more applicable to previously unscientific terms. It is not necessary, however, to consider immaterial concepts meaningless; it is possible that they simply have not yet crossed the boundary into the scientific world. For instance, as we come closer to describing feelings in terms of neurotransmitter levels and neuronal firings, we also come closer to giving them meaning on the empirical level. Who can say that this concept which is presently immaterial (and therefore empirically insignificant) will never come under the auspices of positivistic science? Thus it appears that the empiricists, in insisting that the metaphysical was meaningless, may have spoken too soon; over time the metaphysical may metamorphose into the physical! ! as we learn more and more. And in its place may arise deeper layers of the metaphysical; will we ever eliminate the unprovable?

Works Cited
Achinstein, Peter. “Approaches to the Philosophy of Science.” The Legacy of Logical Positivism: Studies in the Philosophy of Science. Eds. Peter Achinstein and Stephen F. Barker. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins P, 1969.
Cirera, Ramon. Carnap and the Vienna Circle: Empiricism and Logical Syntax. Trans Dick Edelstein. Amsterdam: Rodopi BV, 1994.
Feigl, Herbert. “The Origin and Spirit of Logical Positivism.” The Legacy of Logical Positivism: Studies in the Philosophy of Science. Eds. Peter Achinstein and Stephen F. Barker. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins P, 1969.
Katz, Jerrold J. The Philosophy of Language. New York: Harper & Row, 1966.
Malcolm, Norman. Nothing is Hidden: Wittgenstein’s Criticism of his Early Thought. Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1986.
Moravcsik, J.M.E. Understanding Language: A Study of Theories in Linguistics and in Philosophy. The Hague: Mouton, 1975.
Qadir, C.A. Logical Positivism. Lahore: Ripon P, 1965.
Quine, Willard van Orman. “Two Dogmas of Empiricism.” Readings in the Philosophy of Language. Eds. Jay F. Rosenberg & Charles Travis. Englewood Cliffs: Prentice Hall, 1971.
Rahim, Syed Ataur. Logical Positivism and Metaphysics. Hussainabad/Karachi: Rahim P, 1990.
Sengupta, Kalyan Kumar. Language and Philosophy. Bombay: Allied P, 1969.
Stevens, Allan. On Belief. [Online] Available

By Marni Riddle

December 16, 1997.
Exploring the Mind
Duke University
Durham, North Carolina
Fall 1997

Membangun Kepribadian Anak dengan Tuturan Sehari-hari Jumat, Feb 19 2010 

“Membangun Kepribadian Anak dengan Tuturan Sehari-hari”

By Zainurrahman

Anak, menurut para ahli seperti Bruner, Piaget dan Vygotsky, merupakan makhluk unik yang aktif dan senantiasa “menciptakan makna” dari apa-apa yang dialaminya. Anak meniru dan mengalami perkembangan di segala aspek dengan peran lingkungan yang sangat signifikan. Lingkungan yang paling berpengaruh dalam kehidupan anak adalah lingkungan keluarga; baik personal dalam keluarga maupun material yang ada dalam lingkungan keluarga tersebut. Anak senantiasa berinteraksi dengan person-person dalam keluarga serta materi-materi (kebendaan) yang eksis dalam lingkungan tersebut. Banyak variabel yang sangat mempengaruhi perkembangan anak, dan dalam kesempatan ini kita akan menilik perkembangan aspek kepribadian melalui tuturan keseharian.

Sebagaimana telah disebutkan sebelumnya bahwa anak senantiasa menciptakan makna atas apa yang dialaminya. Pemerolehan bahasa, oleh anak, pertama kali melalui proses imitasi atau peniruan. Anak meniru apa yang diucapkan oleh orang tua, saudara atau siapa saja yang berada dalam lingkungannya. Tanpa mengetahui makna dari setiap tuturan yang dia tiru, anak senantiasa merekam dan mencoba tiap kata demi kata yang dia dengar. Sejauh ini, sangatlah wajar jika kata-kata yang pertama kali diucapkan oleh anak adalah kata-kata yang sengaja diajarkan oleh orang tuanya seperti memanggil mama atau papa.

Akan tetapi, anak juga akan merekam kata-kata yang tidak diajarkan dengan sengaja. Misalkan dari mendengar kebiasaan komunikasi lingkungannya, dari media seperti radio, televisi atau media bersuara lainnya. Tidak heran jika anak sangat mudah menghafal lagu yang sering didengarkan lewat radio atau TV, meskipun mereka tidak tahu jika lagu tersebut tidak wajar mereka nyanyikan karena bukan lagu “Balonku”, “Ulang Tahun” atau “Lihat Kebunku” tetapi lagu “Selingkuh Itu Indah”, “Kekasih Gelapku” dan lain-lain. Ini menunjukkan bahwa orang tua harus ekstra hati-hati dalam mengawasi perkembangan kognisi dan kepribadian anaknya.

Merekam kata-kata untuk memperoleh bahasa oleh anak bukan suatu problema yang harus ditakuti, malahan harus ditunjang demi kelancaran pertumbuhan kompetensi komunikasi mereka. Akan tetapi, ada yang harus disadari bahwa ketika anak mempelajari bahasa, sesungguhnya mereka juga secara tidak langsung membentuk kepribadian; seperti yang dinyatakan teori naturalistik bahwa “Language Learning is Habit Formation”; pembelajaran bahasa adalah pembentukan kepribadian. Artinya, bahwa secara alamiah kepribadian anak itu terbentuk selaras dengan pemerolehan bahasa (imitasi tuturan lingkungannya). Hal inilah yang kira-kira harus kita berikan perhatian ekstra, karena tentu saja tidak ada orang tua yang ingin anaknya memiliki kepribadian yang semrawut, tidak bermoral atau bahkan kurang ajar.

Namun ternyata terdapat kesenjangan antara apa “yang diharapkan” dan apa “yang terjadi”. Setiap orang tua mengharapkan sang belia tumbuh dengan kepribadian luhur. Tetapi dalam prosesnya, orang tua menggunakan tuturan kesehariannya yang “kurang cocok” dihapan anak. Misalnya dengan membentak anak yang lebih tua dengan sebutan dengan nama binatang, dengan bentakan akan memukul seperti “He kambing!!! Aku injak baru tau rasa…”; atau bisa saja saat orang tua duduk ngobrol dengan tetangga sementara menggunakan bahasa atau ungkapan “cacian atau makian” dan celakanya hal itu terjadi tanpa menghiraukan keberadaan anak disekitarnya, atau mungkin anak tetangga.

Perlu kita ingat bahwa keterampilan bahasa pertama (yang sesungguhnya juga merupakan titipan sifat ilahiyah pertama yang dititipkan kepada manusia) adalah keterampilan mendengar (listening, Ing; Sami’an, Arab); setelah itu barulah bisa berbicara karena berbicara merupakan hasil reproduksi dan imitasi dari mendengar. Dengan memperhatikan hal ini, tentu saja kita tidak heran lagi jika ungkapan-ungkapan yang didengar itulah yang akan diucapkan oleh anak. Cepat atau lambat, anak akan terbiasa mengucapkan hal-hal yang tidak cocok diucapkannya, bahkan jika ucapan tersebut ditujukan oleh orang lebih tua seperti “Kamu Bodoh”, “Hei Anjing” sampai pada mencaci-maki teman sebayanya. Tentu saja akan lebih celaka jika ada orang tua tertentu yang merasa “bangga” jika anak mereka bisa meniru mereka.

Item berikut yang patut dikhawatirkan adalah bahwasanya bahasa itu mencerminkan lekuk-lekuk kepribadian dari penutur. Bahasa bukanlah sesuatu yang netral, karena manusia menggunakannya sesuai dengan makna dan pengertian yang dia pahami. Pemahaman manusia akan membentuk budaya pribadi atau kepribadian. Coba anda bandingkan tuturan antara penjaga masjid dan tukang parkir, tentu saja berbeda. Perbedaan tuturan juga mencerminkan “bentuk jiwa”, jika dipandang dari segi psikolinguistik; bahkan bahasa merupakan cermin dari pikiran dan kepribadian. Dengan demikian, bisa diasumsikan bahwa jika anak terbiasa dengan tuturan yang vulgar, maka terbentuklah kepribadian vulgar.

Berdasarkan uraian singkat di atas, bukan tidak mungkin untuk secara sengaja membangun kepribadian anak melalui tuturan sehari-hari. Dimana anak dibiasakan mendengarkan tuturan yang bermuatan moral, halus dan tidak vulgar; sebaliknya anak seyogiyanya dihindarkan dari tuturan-tuturan yang kasar, mengandung cacian, ejekan, hinaan dan vulgar. Ini tentu saja hanya bisa berjalan lancar jika orang tua dari masing-masing anak bersedia untuk introspeksi diri masing-masing, meningkatkan kualitas moral tuturan dan mereduksi nilai-nilai dekadensi moral dalam tuturan sehari-hari. Tidak terkecuali anda, jika ingin anak anda memiliki kepribadian yang baik, hendaknya menjaga tuturan keseharian anda yang bisa secara langsung diresepsi oleh anak dan menjaga anak semaksimal mungkin dari efek negatif tuturan lingkungan yang sangat berpengaruh pada proses pembentukan kepribadian mereka.



An Analysis of the Curriculum Development, theory from Jack Richards

by Zainurrahman

A. Introduction
This chapter discusses the impacts of some situational factors toward the curriculum development. Curriculum is changing in line with the challenging of contemporary era. Curriculum as a set of education which should be prepared by considering some factors that influence the curriculum itself. Nowadays, school-based curriculum (KTSP) has been implemented by state schools in Indonesia. KTSP is an overflow of responsibility for schools (teachers) to plan, to develop, to implement, to evaluate, and to redevelop curriculum which they use. As what have been mentioned above, there are some situational factors that influence curriculum development, thus considering these situational factors, it is vital for the schools or teachers, particularly, as what becomes the interest of the writer, for the English teachers who are involved in the process of curriculum development, to pay close and thorough attention on the betterment of English subject curriculum. Related to KTSP, this topic is relatively crucial because teachers or curriculum developers need to know factors that influence their product, namely, in this case is curriculum. Those factors are societal factors, project factors, institutional factors, teacher factors, learner factors, and implementation factors. By referring to related references, this article provides comprehensible outlook on the issues of situational factors related to curriculum.

Societal Factors
Since English becomes international language, English learning has been part of education curriculum in every country in the world. English in some countries has status as second language and some as foreign language. Such status makes those countries treat English learning differently in terms of the curriculum. Regardless of this distinguishable status of English as second or foreign language, in terms of the English learning curriculum, societal factors which affect the curriculum need to be put into account.
Countries are different in terms of the role of foreign languages in the community, their status in the curriculum, educational traditions and experience in language teaching, and the expectations that members of the community have for language and learning.
Some of societal factors that affect curriculum development are:
a. The policies of language teaching which exist in the society created by the curriculum developers should consider the policies of language teaching, whether it is from national law or autonomous educational institution’s law.
b. The underlying reasons for the project and who support it: usually curriculum development is supported by government and because of it; the content of curriculum will be directed in line with the political views of the government. It is different from school based curriculum development, which is developed independently by schools or teachers.
c. Language teaching experience and traditions: experience and tradition of language teaching also affect the curriculum development. If a country has failed in implementing a curriculum, then they will change their strategy for the next curriculum.
d. Society’ views: society’s views also affect the curriculum, because the curriculum will be implemented to their children, even to them. Therefore, their views on the curriculum should be considered.
e. Teachers’ views: Because the curriculum will be implemented by teachers, their views on the curriculum are very important. Sometimes teachers complain the curriculum concept, because they deal with some difficulties in implementing it. It is possible that the problems are because the inappropriateness of the curriculum content and their experiences.
f. Employers’ and business community’s views: one of the education curriculum’s goals is how to produce educated human that has industrial prospects. Thus, employers’ and business community’s views are important to be considered.
g. Resources: available human resources (teachers’ ability) should be considered, because the curriculum will be implemented successfully by qualified teachers. Moreover, natural resources and media are also vital to be considered because those support the implementation of the curriculum.
Societal factors affect the curriculum development; one of the questions is what society do we want? (White, 2002). This short question has a deep meaning; one reason is curriculum is created for educating pupils. The other question may appear is whether the curriculum is suitable with the society? Values, culture or society’s believes are also a part of the societal factors that affect the curriculum development. Every country or even regency has different cultures and values that underlie the paradigm of people. For the example: One day Mr. Amir teaches his students English (suppose that the students are people in a rural area in Indonesia) by telling a story about Santa Claus (Sinterklas), it is very much possible that the students will confuse because they are not familiar with such figure. Mr. Amir explains that Santa’s carriage flies on the sky. It is so very possible that the students think that it is impossible. This is happened because Mr. Amir teaches them without considering the cultural background of the students. It will be different (and better) if Mr. Amir changes the story. He can use local story, such as Gatot Kaca, to replace the unfamiliar figure of Santa. This gives us understanding that curriculum construction should consider the values, culture and society’s believes, where the curriculum will be implemented.

Project Factors
A curriculum development process is also affected by some factors related to the project itself. As what we know that curriculum is produced by team and not by person. A team always consists of some persons and every person may have differences each other. Project factors means the factors exist when the curriculum is being produced. The developers’ commitment, time, resources needed, personnel are variables which have significant impacts on the project.
To identify the project factors which affect a curriculum development, Richard mentions some questions as follow:
a. Who constitutes the project group and how are they selected? The curriculum developer can be teachers or administrators. It is depended on the model they use. Who select and who are selected in this project are the first thing must be considered. The developer should be selected by considering the skill, expertise, experienced, and commitment. The members should respect to one another. They should not be selected by emotional relationship or based on friendship factors. By considering this the developer will do the project full of responsibility.
b. How are goals and procedures determined? The goals and procedures should be determined based on the general consensus among the developers, of course it also consider some related factors.
c. Who reviews the progress of the project and the performance of the team? The project and the worker of the project should be reviewed by someone who is really the expert on this field. Therefore the project progress can be observed accurately.
d. What resources do they have available and what budget to acquire needed resources? Curriculum development should consider human resources, natural resources, and financial resources that affect the planning and firstly in implementing the developed curriculum.
It is obviously seen that project factors which affect the curriculum development are concentrated to the developer and who selected them, the importance of deliberation in determining the goals and procedures, the supervisor or the reviewer of the project progress and resources acquired. All decision taken must through a deliberation process. Related to decisions, the developer should pay attention in determining the setting aims and objective of the curriculum, the content and the strategies in implementing the curriculum (Miller and Seller, 1985:12).
The following example will give us a view how important the togetherness of the curriculum developers. An education institute decides to develop some major elements of the curriculum. Mr. Sofyan (the head of the project) is the head master of the institute. He is the oldest (in terms of age) among them and because of his position and his age, the other members are reluctant to give any objection or idea. The members always agree on what Mr. Sofyan has been proposed. In the action time, the teachers who use the curriculum deal with some difficulties and the curriculum is not effective. This gives us a view that togetherness in making decision is a vital aspect in curriculum development, which the views of all members (by considering all related aspects) are distributed and support the project successfulness.

Institutional Factors
Initially, people learn first language in their daily life, but foreign language is typically learnt in an institution such as school, university or language institution (language course), as what Dewey stated that school (institution) is a miniature of society (Lie, 2004:15) and every society has culture. Every member in the institution has their own character and the interactions among them create an environment, even culture. As Morris (in Richard, 2001:97) stated “Schools are organizations and they develop a culture…” by considering this, it can be assumed that every institution has different culture.
Curriculum or set of education planning is produced in an institution which will use the curriculum. Related to the KTSP, every school is given authority (responsibility) to produce their curriculum based on several factors, and one of the factors which affect it is institutional factors. Everything related to the institutional existence affects the curriculum, for illustration “jelly form represents the place it produced”. A curriculum form will represent the institution characteristics. Some institutions use textbooks as the core of the curriculum and all teachers must use the prescribed texts, some other institution’s teachers use course guidelines. These are examples how the institutions are different.
Again, Richard use questions to show how these factors should be considered:
a. What leadership is available within the institution to support change and to help teachers cope with the change? Is it dictatorial or democratic? If the leadership is democratic, the teacher will get more opportunities to take part in the curriculum development process, not only in doing what is ordered but also considering what have to be done with the development of the curriculum.
b. What is the role of textbooks and other materials? Textbooks sometimes become the core of the curriculum. In language courses, for example EF (English First) and LPIA (Lembaga pendidikan dan keterampilan Indonesia-Amerika) they use different textbooks. Therefore their curriculum will be different, although the goal of the curriculum is similar. The teachers should be familiar with the textbooks or materials or course guidelines used in the institution. If they are not, it will be a problem in implementing the curriculum as what is scheduled.
c. What administrative support is available within the institution and how is the communicational understanding between the teachers and the administration? Teachers and administration should be in a line. The communication between them should create a comfortable environment.
d. How committed is the institution in attaining excellence? Again, commitment of the teachers or institution in attaining excellent achievement is demanded. The motivation and commitment, by having the physical resources and human resources support of the institution, can attain an excellent predicate and a good reputation for delivering successful program.
An institution is a collection of teachers, groups and departments. Sometimes they function in unison, sometimes with different components functioning independently and even sometimes they function in a confrontation way. Teachers, supervisors and also administrative should work cooperatively. For example: an English course wants to develop its curriculum. Last week they had teacher recruitment. When they want to decide what and how many textbooks will be used in teaching and somehow the new teachers deal with uncertainties because they are not familiar yet with the textbooks, the new teachers should have trainings or guidelines on how to employ the respected textbooks.
Beside the human side of the institution, the physical aspects of the institution are also important. The curriculum should be appropriate with the resources which the institutions have. For example: a school is developing an English curriculum and they want to utilize CALL (computer assisted in language learning) but the school does not have computer lab, of course this is a problem. Again, the curriculum should be compatible with the resource which the school or institution has.

Teacher factors
Other factor which affects the curriculum development is teachers in which the curriculum will depend on. Institution or school consists of administrator and teachers. In a school, there are teachers having different characteristics, language proficiency, teaching experience, skill and expertise, morale and motivation, teaching style, beliefs and principle.
Some teachers perhaps do not object to the change of curriculum because they are well trained before or rich of experience, but there is uncertainty for some untrained teachers.
Some teachers who have time for teaching will not object when they get additional class but some busy teachers perhaps object because it will be heavy loads for them.
The following questions help us to identify teachers’ factors which affect the curriculum development process:
a. What kinds of teachers currently teach in the target school or institution? Teachers’ aspects such as their background, training, experience, moral and motivation should be considered.
b. How proficient are they in English? The English teacher should have good proficiency in English so they can master the materials in the English textbooks or other materials resource.
c. What resources and methods do the teachers use? In teaching, teachers may use prescribed textbooks or other materials resources; also teachers make their own materials. These aspects should be considered to match the curriculum planning, whether they should change their resources or the curriculum is developed in line with the current textbooks used by teachers. Teachers’ teaching methods also should be considered.
d. What are the benefits for the teachers? Some teachers are motivated by professional responsibility, but some teachers may be motivated by economic purpose. Therefore, the offer should be clear for them.
Some institutions which disregard teachers who play the important role in the curriculum practice often develop a curriculum without involving teachers. They also do not respect the teachers factors that have impact to the curriculum. After curriculum is developed or changed, the teachers are given the new curriculum. It is possible that the curriculum is ready, but the teachers are not. Some experienced teachers can make adaptation soon, but untrained or inexperienced teachers may need longer time. They perhaps do not master the materials or textbooks used in the curriculum. Some teachers may complain because they do not have more time and lesson loads which are very heavy for them (if the curriculum also changes the lesson load). The students or learners may ignore these problems without realizing that they are “sacrificed”. However, this cannot be happened, because the institution or school must be responsible on the students or learners future.

Learner Factors
Learners or students achievements are indicators whether the curriculum is successful or not, because to the students is the curriculum implemented. Based on the students’ success, the curriculum is evaluated. Therefore, it is essential to collect as much information as possible about students before the project begins.
There are some kinds of curriculum, say teacher-centered and student-centered curriculum. Most curriculums used in Indonesia is student-centered curriculum. In developing this curriculum, the developer (whether it is administrative model or grass-root model) should considers students’ backgrounds, expectations, beliefs, and preferred learning styles.
These questions will give us a view about the learner or student factors:
a. What are the learners’ past language learning experiences? Teachers should consider learners’ experience in learning language before they learn English. Some learners or students perhaps study other foreign language. This may affect their learning because languages are different in some aspects (in terms of structure, grammar or pronunciation).
b. How motivated are the learners to learn English? Learners may be motivated by integrative motivation or instrumental motivation. The teacher may treat different motivation of the student with different method. The learners’ motivation is closely related to their expectation and by considering these the teacher can decide what content they prefer.
c. Are they homogeneous or heterogeneous group? Sometimes different cultures become hinder in the class, thus the interaction in the class will not be good. As what Yule stated that linguistics interaction needs good social interaction (Yule, 1996) the teacher can use cooperative learning model to hold the heterogeneous class.
d. What type of learning approach do they favor? If the students are heterogeneous, the teacher can divide the students in groups because they need to know their friends’ culture or something else. If they are active students, the learning approach should be student-focused.
e. How much time can they be expected to put into the program? Students should be considered from the time aspect, for example young learner should not be taught in two hours for a subject. It will bore students and of course they cannot concentrate if they are tired.
f. What learning resources will they typically have access to? The curriculum developer should consider what resources are the learner can access to, if the learners are realized not qualified in computer yet, the curriculum should not be contained with CALL.
An institution’s principal just comes back from Australia and he wants to implement what he has seen overseas. He does not consider the learners’ ability that is very different from Australian. He decides to change the curriculum and utilize CALL, however the learners are not able to operate internet. Finally, the learners do not pass of examination. The resources the learners usually use are textbooks and some printed lesson material, when they are requested to find journals and articles (and this will be assessed) by browsing in the internet, and the teacher asks them to search by using a search engine named Google, they might ask to each other, what is Google? This is really a problem.

Adoption Factors
Adoption factors are factors which exist when the curriculum is adopted by teachers. It is closely related to the teachers factors explained above. When the curriculum is offered to the teachers, by considering the changes in the curriculum, some teachers may be ready to accept the changes while others might resist it, because the changes in the curriculum perhaps affect the teachers’ beliefs and their principles in teaching students.
Some following questions should be considered:
a. What advantages does the curriculum change offer? When the curriculum is developed or changed, the developer should match the changes in the curriculum and the teachers’ principles, whether it gives positive contribution or not.
b. How compatible is it? The curriculum should be developed by considering the consistency between the changes and the existing beliefs, organization attitudes, and beliefs which exist in the school or institution. The developers also consider the balance of the level of difficulties and teachers / students ability to understand it. The curriculum should be tested before it is applied.
c. Have the features and benefits of the innovation been clearly communicated to teachers and institution? If the model used is administrative model, the curriculum should be clearly communicated to the teachers in order to avoid the teachers misunderstanding on the curriculum. By considering these, the curriculum will get reviews for new information, critiques or suggestions from the teachers before it is applied. Teachers are the ones who know their students; therefore, teachers can give more important information about students. Thereby, the curriculum can be decided whether it can be applied in the classroom or it cannot.
Profiling the factors identified in the situational analysis
Situational analysis is important to identify the factors which have positive and negative impact to the curriculum planning and its implementation. The factors are sometimes known as SWOT analysis; S=Strengths (the factors have positive impact to the curriculum), W=Weakness (the factors have negative impact to the curriculum), O=Opportunities (the factors give opportunities for improvement), and T=Threats (the factors should be reduced). Hence, situational analysis serves to help identifying potential obstacles to implement a curriculum project and factors that are needed to be considered when planning the parameters of a project.

Lie, Anita. 2004. Cooperative Learning: Mempraktikkan Cooperative Learning di ruang-ruang kelas. Gramedia Widiasarana Idonesia. Jakarta.
Miller & Seller, 1985. Curriculum: Perspective and Practice. Longman. New York.
Richards, Jack C. 2001. Curriculum Development in Language Teaching. Cambridge Language Education.
White, R. Crombie. 2002. Curriculum Innovation: a celebration of classroom practice. Open university press.
Yule, George. 1996. Pragmatics. Oxford University Press.

Qualitative research Jumat, Feb 19 2010 

The Basic Understanding of Qualitative Research


One common dichotomy in research method, always having a nest in most people head, is either qualitative research or quantitative research as the two have very different research approaches. The most popular assumption is that qualitative research’s challenge is in data collection process and the quantitative research’s challenge is in research instrument arrangement. Another assumption is qualitative research needs longer time to be conducted or finished than quantitative research. Thus, quantitative is easier (although everyone who hates mathematics avoids it) which is always chosen because computer can do the quantifying (SPSS or Excel), without considering the research types or purposes. When I was involved in this class for the first time, my friends told me that they will take qualitative research because it is easier to be conducted than quantitative (there is not calculation, formulation, and so on). This gives me an assumption that they choose an approach based on the easiness which is promised by each approaches. What they (or we) have to do is considering the research type and its purposes before deciding what approach will be used. Some topics are feasible to be researched, elaborated and analyzed by employing either qualitative or quantitative method, in which is determined by the purposes of the research. This phenomenon perhaps as consequence of the lack of understanding on what qualitative and quantitative approach is itself. This short essay aims at giving a basic understanding on qualitative approach. Let alone, this essay also elaborates the potential value of this approach, especially conducted in language teaching research area.
To start this essay, let me share with you about the basic understanding of research. Etymologically, the word “Research” consists of two word, Re and Search. From this we can draw a tentative assumption that “Research” morphologically is similar to “Search again”. What is searched is the answer or solution of problems which have been searched by other researchers. In science, everything is changing or tentative. Science does not start everything with absolute truth; science is a careful analytical method that always presents discoveries in the concept of “if…, then….” (My translation) (Nasution, 1987:4). Therefore, research utilizes scientific method to provide empirical legitimacy has always been done and continued by the other researchers either to support the current findings; or to negate the current findings; or to offer new findings.
Terminologically, research is a systematic attempt to provide answer to questions (Tuckman, 1978:1). A research needs to be conducted when we want to solve and answer questions systematically, or to test or measure the effectiveness or ineffectiveness of a finding in the form of a model, strategy, tool, and so on. You can answer some daily questions without conducting a research, but research is needed if the question needs to be solved systematically. Thus, the difference between research and non-research is “research is systematic” and “non-research is not systematic”. Other characteristics of research, other than what have been mentioned above, are logical, empirical, reductive, replicable and transmittable (Tuckman, 1978:11-12).

Qualitative Research: Basic Understanding
Suppose that you want to conduct a research on your youngest brother’s language acquisition, and you decide to do the research by using qualitative approach, your research will be qualitative research. Why do you choose qualitative approach? One of the most probable reasons is language acquisition process cannot be explained and analyzed by means of calculation as in your mind, your youngest brother’s learning of speaking is a natural process. And when you want to conduct a research on the effectiveness of cooperative learning to improve your students’ speaking skill (if you are a teacher or lecturer), you perhaps choose quantitative approach because you want to investigate the relationship between cooperative learning model and students’ speaking skill and it can be done by calculating the pre-test score and post-test score. In your mind, the relationship is a mechanical process and can be elaborated by numbers. These possibilities give you short explanation that research purpose will determine what kind of approach will be used and how it forms your research type.
Based on the example above, obviously it is understood that qualitative approach is far from quantification, number or calculation, while on the contrary; qualitative approach is a research procedure that produces descriptive data in term of words, either written or spoken from people (respondents or objects) and their perceivable attitudes (Bogdan and Taylor in Moleong, 2008). Because qualitative approach uses words to interpret phenomena, then qualitative research is sometimes called interpretive approach.
There is an important things need to be known that although the definition above state that qualitative research using words or explain phenomena by using words, it does not mean that there is not measurement in qualitative research. Sometimes perhaps the researcher wants to measure frequency of words produced by a speaker, it will use some statistic procedures. This cannot be perceived as “two approaches are applied in one research”, but this research is used quantitative method to support his or her in order to interpret phenomena. It can be said that “two methods (quantitative and qualitative method) can be blended in a research”, but not blending the approach. If you find someone say “I use two approaches in this research” thus you can interpret that he means that “I use two methods in this research” (Prasetyo & Jannah, 2008:27) because his research possibly contains the both qualitative and quantitative data. Thus, the data what makes a researcher use qualitative method or quantitative method, but approach used is determined by the type and purpose of the research.
Qualitative approach, according to William (in Moleong) is data collection in a natural background (remember the example given before) by using natural method and is done by researcher who is interested naturally (Moleong, 2008:5). This definition gives us a view that qualitative approach priors natural background and natural method. It means that natural process, like language acquisition in one side, cannot be viewed as a mechanical process and cannot be interpreted by using robotic tools like computer (SPSS and Microsoft Office Excel) or other statistical tools. The simple reason I can give perhaps there are many factors, reasons, or / and causes which cannot be measured by computation but can be understood and can be clearly explained by using words. From this point of view, qualitative researcher possibly assumes that number cannot represent some natural phenomena and make it clearly understood by people.
Qualitative researches involve a researcher describing kind of characteristics of people and events or phenomena without comparing events in term of measurement or amounts, multi-method in focus involving an interpretive, naturalistic approach to its subject matter (Thomas, 1991:1). It means that the qualitative researchers study things in their natural settings, attempting to make sense of, or interpret phenomena in terms of the meaning people bring to them. The distinction between both qualitative and quantitative approach above is hoped give you an understandable view about what qualitative approach is.
For further understanding about what qualitative research is, there are some additional theories that show some particular aspect of qualitative research. For the example William (In Moleong, 2008) stated that qualitative research is a data collection on the natural background, by using natural method. Lincoln (1987) is also in line with William, they emphasize the naturalistic in the research. Qualitative research also can be identified by the research characteristics, particularly in term or data analysis. When a research tries to understand a phenomenon or people perception, experiences of the participants, and then the assessment of the participants’ achievement is ongoing assessment and the data is collected by using open interview, the research can be characterized as qualitative research (Emilia, 2008:190-191)
Qualitative research is used to gain insight into people’s attitudes, behaviors, value systems, concerns, motivations, aspirations, culture or lifestyles (
Although there is still some debate, the general consensus is that qualitative research is a naturalistic, interpretative approach concerned with understanding the meanings which people attach to actions, decisions, beliefs, values and the like within their social world, and understanding the mental mapping process that respondents use to make sense of and interpret the world around them (Ritchie and Lewis, 2003)
The benefits of qualitative pre-field testing include: improved reliability of responses, improved validity of responses, reduced non-response (both unit and item), reduced processing error and need for imputation, improved cost efficiency, reduced respondent burden (
To make it clearer, here are the characteristics of qualitative research, and please keep in mind that a research is called qualitative research if the approach used is qualitative approach. Thus, research type is determined by the approach used.

Characteristics of Qualitative Research
Naturalistic: qualitative research is performed on the natural background because natural ontology expects the existence of realities (data) as a whole which cannot be understood if they are separated from the context.
Human (researcher) as the instrument: in qualitative research, the researcher is the data collector or even the instrument itself (Sugiyono, 2008:222). This research states that human is the only one who can interact with respondent and able to understand the relationships of realities in the research field.

Use qualitative method: the methods used in this research are observation, interview and document analysis.
Inductive: This research analyzes data inductively because inductive process more appropriate with plural realities and it makes correlation between the researcher and respondent more explicit.
Grounded Theory: qualitative method expects the tuition direction of substantive theory from data because a priory theory cannot include the plural events that may be dealt. Grounded theory is more responsive to the contextual values.
Descriptive: The data collected are words, pictures and not numbers.
Process is more important than product: qualitative research more focus on the process than product or result. Researched parts’ relationship will be clearer if they are observed in the process.
Special criteria for data validity: Qualitative research requires valid, reliable and objective data. Actually, all research approach requires them.
Tentative design: Research design is more flexible and useable in every research field.
Agreed conclusion: Interpretation result is dealt by respondents or data sources (my translation) (Moleong, 2008:8-13)
Qualitative research usually employs five main methods, namely: observation, interviewing, ethnographic fieldwork, discourse analysis and textual analysis (Travers, 2001:2)

Qualitative Data and Data Collection
According to Lofland and Lofland (in Moleong, 2008) the main data in qualitative research is words and action or attitude. Other data sources are documents, pictures and statistics. Qualitative researcher uses some techniques to collect the data through interview, observation, voice recording, picture taking, or movie recording; although in qualitative paradigm the researcher is the instrument, sometime questionnaire and response forms is useful for collecting data (Krueger, 1997:56). Based on the theories above, it can be concluded that qualitative research use “humanistic” instrument to collect the data such as voice, attitude, behavior, experiences. Questionnaire is also used in qualitative data to measure respondents’ perception or knowledge. The technique most used is interview and observation.

Potential Value of Qualitative Research in the Language Education Area
Language acquisition is a natural process and it is developed by natural practice and interaction whether from social interaction (in this case, Yule stated that linguistics interaction is in accordance with social interaction)(Yule, 2006), material interaction (material from electronic or printed media such as TV, paper, magazine, book and song). Language acquisition, according to Skinner is a process of habit formation (Griffiths, 2008:282).
Based on those, language acquisition as a natural process (natural here is meant as the background of the phenomena of language acquisition) must to be approached by using an approach that positions naturalistic as the most important aspect in the system.
Potential value of qualitative research is its power to interpret or analyze natural (language) phenomena such as stimuli, emotion, intention and reason, which cannot be measured or compared by using computer or other robotic tool. Although quantitative approach also has important role in language phenomena research, but quantitative research performance more focus on the mechanic phenomena of language competence development. However, each approach or research is used in accordance with the purposes of the research itself.
Reasons to employ qualitative research in language education research may vary for every researcher. If we return to the language acquisition and its development process as natural process, by referring to Creswell “Select a qualitative study because of the nature of research question… choose a qualitative approach in order to study individuals in their natural setting” (1997:17) and by considering that as natural process, the researched object cannot be separated by its context or setting. It is obviously explain that qualitative research is highly suggested in language research, either in education area or non-education area.

Creswell, John. W. 1997. Qualitative Inquiry and Research Design: Choosing Among Five Traditions. SAGE Publication, Inc.
Emilia, Emi. 2008. Menulis Tesis dan Disertasi. Penerbit Alfabeta.
Griffiths, Carol. 2008. Lessons From Good Language Learners. Cambridge University Press.
Krueger, Richard. A. 1997. Analyzing & Reforing Focus Group Result. SAGE Publication, Inc.
Lincoln, Yvona S., & Egon. G. Guba. 1987. Naturalistic Inquiry. SAGE Publication, Inc.
Moleong, Lexy. J. Prof. Dr. 2008. Metodologi Penelitian Kualitatif: Edisi Revisi. Rosda. Bandung
Nasution. Prof. Dr. M.A. 1987. Metode Research (Penelitian Ilmiah). Jemars. Bandung
Prasetyo, Bambang & Jannah, Lina Miftahul. 2008. Metode Penelitian Kuantitatif: Teori dan Aplikasi. Rajawali Pers.
Ritchie J and Lewis J (eds) (2003) Qualitative Research Practice: A Guide for Social Science Students and Researcher. Sage: London
Sugiyono. Prof. Dr. 2008. Metode Penelitian Kuantitatif, Kualitatif dan R&D. Alfabeta.
Thommas, R. Murray. 1991. Blending Qualitative & Quantitative Research Methods in Theses and Dissertations. Corwin Press, Inc.
Travers, Max. 2001. Qualitative Research through Case studies. SAGE Publication, Inc.
Tuckman, Bruce. W. 1978. Conducting Educational Research: Second Edition. Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, Inc.
Yule, George. 2006. Pragmatik. Pustaka Pelajar.

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DASAR SASTRA Jumat, Feb 19 2010 


Oleh Zainurrahman


1.1. Pendahuluan

Istilah ‘pendekatan’ dalam suatu proses penelitian sastra diidentikkan dengan titik berangkat sekaligus sisi-sisi objektif yang dimanfaatkan peneliti dalam menjalankan penelitiannya. Dalam penelitian sastra atau kritik sastra, berbagai bentuk pendekatan dapat dimanfaatkan. Bahkan penelitian sastra menisbikan pemanfaatan lebih dari satu jenis pendekatan. Meskipun demikian, pendekatan-pendekatan tersebut senantiasa melahirkan konklusi-konklusi yang berbeda, bahkan bersifat kontras. Hal ini disebabkan oleh perbedaan sudut pandang dan dasar-dasar pembentuk tiap-tiap pendekatan tersebut, juga relevansi-relevansinya dengan kaidah-kaidah diluar karya sastra yang diteliti.

Karya sastra, menurut DR. Faruk adalah suatu model yang memodelkan kenyataan semesta. Pandangan ini menganggap bahwa karya sastra merupakan suatu dunia kata-kata yang membentuk suatu realitas imajinatif, suatu kehidupan yang dihidupkan lewat pembacaan dan penafsiran. Felix Vodicka yang adalah murid dari Jan Mukarovsky (kritikus sastra asal Polandia) juga berasumsi bahwa sebuah karya sastra yang tidak dibaca, tidak ditafsirkan hanya akan menjadi sebuah artefak, atau struktur mati. Dengan kata lain “tidak berguna”.

Tidaklah demikian jika kita bersandar pada pengertian sastra sebagai sebuah seni yang diekspresikan bermedium bahasa, yang kompleksitasnya meliputi nilai-nilai edukasi, moral dan estetika. Jika kita bersandar pada pengertian sastra diatas, maka jelas sebuah karya sastra bersifat dibutuhkan. Aristoteles dalam perdedebatannya dengan Plato yang tidak lain adalah gurunya sendiri berkata bahwa nilai-nilai seni di dalam karya sastra sarat dengan muatan-muatan edukasional dan moral, yang memungkinkan seseorang mengalami penyucian jiwa, menjadikan manusia lebih budiman; dan proses penyucian jiwa lewat seni ini dia (Aristoteles) sebut dengan istilah Katharsis.

“Karya sastra harus dibaca dan ditafsirkan’. Ini merupakan dalil dasar yang harus menjadi pedoman. Namun bagaimanakah agar seseorang dapat membaca dan menafsirkan sebuah karya sastra dengan berhasil? Menurut Roland Barthes, cara pembacaan karya sastra yang berhasil adalah dengan meniadakan pengarangnya. Proses penghilangan pengarang ini disebutnya Depersonalisasi.

Namun tesis Barthes di atas ditentang oleh Prof. Teeuw yang berasal dari Leiden. Teeuw berkata bahwa karya sastra merupakan media interaksi antara pengarang dan pembaca. Penafian atau penghilangan pengarang atau depersonalisasi itu tidak lain adalah pembunuhan sumber yang akan mengurangi motif penulisan dan makna tulisan. Seorang pembaca membaca karya sastra tidak lain adalah mengadakan komunikasi tidak langsung dengan pengarang, dalam rangka mendekati maksud pengarang, agar dapat memetik hikmah dari karya yang bersangkutan. Tesis Teeuw ini terkesan emosional. Teeuw menekankan keterlibatan emosional antara pembaca dengan pengarang. Namun menurut saya, keterlibatan emosional dalam pembacaan karya sastra akan terjadi antara pembaca dan tokoh-tokoh cerita dalam karya sastra tersebut, sehingga depersonalisasi tidak akan menyebabkan hilangnya keterlibatan emosional.

Idealnya, setiap pendekatan hampir memiliki keunggulan dan kelemahan tertentu. Sehingga penggunaan lebih dari satu pendekatan bisa menciptakan kerancuan dalam konklusi.

Seorang ahli dan pengguna bahasa, bergulat dengan dunia bunyi dan dunia makna. Karya sastra yang adalah seni yang bermediumkan bahasa sarat dengan makna-makna. Sedangkan dunia makna yang tidak berkaitan dengan bahasa adalah filsafat. Pentingnya pengetahuan tentang pendekatan-pendekatan (approaches) dalam penelitian sastra, adalah supaya tidak terdapat kontradiksi dalam konklusi.

Dalam diktat ini, saya akan mengulas secara garis besar mengenai teori-teori yang berhubungan dengan pendekatan penelitian sastra. Diantaranya adalah:
Pendekatan Objektif (objective approach/pure structuralisme approach)
Pendekatan Ekspresif (expresive approach/biographic approach)
Pendekatan Pragmatis (Pragmatical approach)
Pendekatan Mimesis (Mimetical approach)
Pendekatan Psikologi (Psychological approach)

Karya sastra merupakan sebuah dunia yang terdiri dari kata-kata. Kata-kata terbentuk dari huruf-huruf. Huruf-huruf merupakan simbol-simbol bunyi. Bunyi-bunyi memiliki makna. Sehingga sastra sebagai dunia kata-kata, adalah dunia makna-makna. Perbedaan antara sastra lisan dan sastra tulisan hanya pada bentuk. Namun sifat daripada keduanya adalah sama. Dimana tulisan mewakili lisan dan mengabadikan bunyi atau lisan tersebut. Namun dalam sejarahnya, sastra lisan berpeluang besar untuk berubah, sedangkan sastra tulisan senantiasa terjaga orisinalitasnya. Uhlenbeck membedakan antara bahasa lisan dan bahasa tulisan, dan dia berkesimpulan bahwa masing-masing bahasa (lisan dan tulisan) memiliki keunggulan dan kelemahan.

Jika bahasa lisan sebagai komunikasi langsung, ada keterlibatan emosional dan motif mimik dan intonasi tuturan turut membantu pendengar dalam memaknai kata, namun dalam hal sastra ini, makna-makna sastra lisan bisa saja berubah, meskipun ditutur secara langsung, karena masing-masing orang memiliki motif bertutur yang berbeda. Sedangkan bahasa tulisan yang merupakan komunikasi tidak langsung menisbikan keterlibatan emosional dengan penulis, dapat dibaca berulang-ulang dan tidak terikat ruang dan waktu, tidak seperti bahasa lisan. Orisinalitas tata-katanya terjaga, dan memberikan ruang yang luas kepada pembaca untuk memaknainya. Namun dalam hal sastra ini, sastra tulisan menghilangkan ciri khas pengarang dalam menutur kalimatnya, sehingga pada gilirannya mimik dan intonasi pembacaan karya sastra (terutama puisi) tidak melahirkan sensitivitas sekuat sastra lisan, pengaruh terhadap jiwa penikmat tidak sekuat sastra lisan.

1.2. Sastra Sebagai Salah Satu Bagian Seni

Adalah benar jika dikatakan bahwa sastra adalah seni, tapi lebih benar lagi jika disebut bagian dari seni. Mengapa saya mengatakan bagian dari pada seni, karena seni memiliki sekian banyak jalur dan medium untuk diekspresikan.

Berbicara mengenai seni, pernah terjadi perbedaan pendapat antara Plato dan Aristoteles. Menurut Plato, nilai karya seorang tukang lebih tinggi dibandingkan nilai karya seorang seniman. Plato berargumen bahwa seorang tukang berkarya sesuai dengan kemutlakan benda-benda dalam kenyataan. Sedangkan karya seorang seniman, menurut Plato senantiasa meniru kenyataan, sehingga secara hierarkis karya seniman berada di bawah kenyataan. Sedangkan tukang menciptakan sesuatu yang nyata dalam keadaannya.

Plato berpikir bahwa seniman menuruti emosi/nafsu yang mesti dikekang. Sedangkan tukang menciptakan karyanya berdasarkan teknik. Aristoteles kemudian mengatakan hal yang bertentangan, menurut Aristoteles seniman tidak meniru kenyataan, melainkan menciptakan dunianya sendiri. Karya seni bisa menyebabkan suatu penyucian bathin penikmat seni, dalam istilahnya Aristoteles menyebut proses penyucian jiwa lewat seni ini disebut Katharsis.

Karya sastra sebagai karya seni tidak sepenuhnya meneladani kenyataan, tetapi menciptakan dunianya sendiri. Seorang sastrawan menciptakan suatu dunia fiksi, jalur pengembaraan dalam dunia tersebut adalah bahasa dan pilihan kata yang digunakan. Sebagaimana seperti yang saya katakan, bahwa bahasa sebagai sistem tanda (semiotik), setiap kata yang terdengar atau terbaca, memberikan kita suatu rujukan dalam pikiran kita tentang realitas. Pengembaraan dalam karya sastra bersifat imajinatif, artinya image kita berperan dalam menelusuri dunia karya tersebut. Dalam istilah sastra disebut Heterokosmos (sastra sebagai dunia dalam kata).

Kita membaca sebuah novel misalnya, dalam pembacaan itu kita senantiasa berimajinasi, seolah-olah kita melihat kejadian yang ada dalam novel tersebut, kita merasa terlibat, sedih, gembira, terharu, penasaran, marah dan sebagainya. Secara psikologis, pembacaan sastra yang berhasil adalah yang berkesan pada perasaan kita, dan itulah yang disebut sebagai pemuasan estetis.

Kata seni, memiliki dua arti. Kita lihat dalam bahasa Inggris seni disebut Art. Kata Art ini berasal dari bahasa Yunani Ars, yang artinya tidak lebih dari ‘Teknik’. Sehingga seni tidak selamanya berarti ‘keindahan’. Tetapi kepandaian dan kemahiran. Lihatlah dalam disiplin militer, ada seni perang, seni tempur, ada seni membunuh, ada seni beladiri yang di dalamnya tidak terdapat pemuasan estetis.

Keindahan adalah arti kedua dari ‘seni’. Artian ini bertolak dari ungkapan Aristoteles bahwa seniman itu merupakan titisan dewa/dewi keindahan yang disebut Muse. Sehingga karya para seniman itu di nilai indah, berikut juga arti seni itu sendiri mengalami pergeseran dari teknik menjadi keindahan. Namun dalam konteks lain, kata seni juga digunakan sebagai arti teknik.

Demikian pula sastra atau karya sastra, proses penciptaannya membutuhkan kemahiran tertentu, dalam hal ini kemahiran dalam memilih dan merangkai kata untuk menggambarkan suatu keadaan. Dikatakanlah bahwa karya sastra merupakan bagian dari seni, karena dibangun berdasarkan teknik dan mengandung nilai edukasi, etika dan estetika.

Kita bisa membedakan, bahwa seniman yang bergelut dengan huruf adalah sastrawan, seniman yang bergelut dengan tinta dan kanvas adalah pelukis, seniman yang bergelut dengan nada dan irama adalah musisi. Tetapi dalam menikmati karya mereka semua, kita merasakan kepuasan seni yang sama, karena berasal dari suatu sifat yang sama, yakni seni sebagai keindahan.

Memang ada beberapa karya sastra yang menyebabkan gejolak sosial dan perubahan kepribadian secara individual, ini disebabkan karena para penikmat terdoktrin melalui proses edukasi di dalam karya sastra tersebut. Hal ini tidak berarti memupus nilai keindahan atau nilai seni dari karya sastra, tetapi justru merupakan bukti bahwa karya sastra memiliki potensi yang sangat kuat. Dan bukan saja karya sastra, karya seni yang lain pun demikian.

1.3. Manfaat Sastra Dipelajari

Membaca karya sastra (jika karya tersebut berupa teks) saja sudah merupakan suatu proses pembelajaran. Karya sastra merupakan miniatur kehidupan nyata, di dalamnya sastrawan menciptakan masalah sekaligus solusi. Pada dasarnya menurut saya, Ilmu sastra terbagi atas dua bagian besar, yaitu Ilmu Konstruksi dan Ilmu Konkretisasi.

Yang dimaksud dengan ilmu konstruksi, adalah ilmu yang mengajarkan tentang pengetahuan mencipta atau membangun sebuah karya sastra. Para sastrawan menciptakan karya mereka, berdasarkan kepada berbagai hal, di antaranya adalah pengalaman pribadi dan keprihatinan terhadap suatu kondisi kehidupan. Mereka sebagian besar mempelajari teknik ber-sastra secara otodidak, pada dasarnya tidak ada disiplin ilmu khusus yang membicarakan tentang konstruksi karya sastra. Jenis kreatifitas konstruksi karya sastra pada umumnya diciptakan para ahli sastra. Kahlil Gibran tidak pernah menjelaskan type penulisan karyanya, namun yang menjelaskan type penulisannya adalah ahli sastra yang lain.

Nilai sebuah karya sastra itu sendiri ditentukan oleh pilihan kata, penghubungan cerita, penokohan serta makna yang awalnya bersifat subjektif. Hanya saja, pengarang harus memiliki wawasan yang luas, karena menciptakan karya sastra seperti novel misalnya, pengarang harus memahami hal ihwal sosiologi, psikologi, hukum dan agama. Karena bagaimanapun juga, novel itu menyerupai kehidupan nyata.

Dalam hal pemilihan kata, pengarang harus mengerti tentang kiasan. Seperti metafora, personifikasi, hiperbola, simile dan berbagai teknik retorika yang lain. Penguasaan ini dimaksudkan guna memberikan kepuasan terhadap penikmat karya. Bagian-bagian yang turut membangun sebuah karya sastra akan dibahas pada bagian pendekatan objektif.

Kemudian ilmu yang kedua adalah ilmu konkretisasi, yaitu ilmu untuk memaknai karya sastra. Menurut Felix Vodicka, karya sastra hanya menjadi artefak atau struktur mati, jika tidak dimaknai. Karya sastra justru dihidupkan lewat pemaknaan pembaca. Untuk memaknai sebuah karya sastra, dalam artian memetik hikmah dari proses pembacaan karya sastra, kita dituntut untuk mengetahui jalan-jalan khusus untuk mendekati makna karya tersebut.

Karya sastra, bisa didekati maknanya dari segi kehidupan pengarangnya, bisa didekati dari segi sejarah terciptanya karya tersebut, maksudnya adalah apa yang menyebabkan karya sastra tersebut tercipta, kemudian dapat juga didekati dari segi penyamaan dengan realitas dan sebagainya. Inipun akan dibahas dalam bagian pendekatan.

Intinya, manfaat belajar sastra, agar bisa menciptakan karya sastra yang bermutu dan produktif, selain itu mampu memaknai karya sastra, yang mana hikmah dari pembacaan tersebut dapat diaplikasikan dalam kehidupan nyata.

Dengan belajar sastra, kita bisa menciptakan proyektor dalam imajinasi kita, kita membaca kehidupan masa lalu, khususnya di masa karya tersebut tercipta, ketika kita membaca suatu karya sastra romantik, maka kita dapat menggambarkan kehidupan di zaman romantik, karena ciri khas zaman ikut terlukis di dalam sebuah karya.

Sebagai analisator, kita tidak hanya mapan untuk memaknai karya sastra saja, melainkan setiap bentuk teks dapat dimaknai, misalnya memakanai ayat suci, memaknai surat, memaknai cerita sejarah, dan sebagainya. Jelasnya mempelajari sastra itu untuk menciptakan dan menganalisis.

Memaknai karya sastra seperti novel, membawa berbagai manfaat yang luar biasa besar, karena di dalamnya kita menelusuri masalah-masalah sosiologis, psikologis, hukum dan budaya, dengan demikian disiplin-disiplin ilmu diatas secara tidak langsung dapat dipelajari.

1.4. Bahasa Sebagai Medium Ekspresi Sastra

Bahasa adalah sistem tanda, atau disebut semiotik dalam istilah linguistik. Konsep semiotik adalah konsep dari Ferdinand De Sausurre. Konsep ini menjelaskan fungsi bahasa untuk memberikan rujukan kepada kita tentang sesuatu di dalam realitas.

Kita menyebut sesuatu benda dengan sebuah nama atau sebutan, merupakan suatu kreasi kultural, suatu kebiasaan. Jika kita sebut sebuah nama benda sesuai dengan kebiasaan kita, kepada seseorang yang kebiasaannya berbeda dalam menyebut nama benda tersebut, maka otomatis orang tersebut tidak akan mendapatkan rujukan apa-apa dalam pikirannya, yang ada hanya tanda tanya saja.

Bahasa ini sangat fleksibel, segala sesuatu yang nyata di dalam dunia ini bisa dibahasakan, bisa dipahami oleh orang yang sekebiasaan. Dengan demikian, sastra yang bermediumkan bahasa dapat mengikutsertakan apapun yang ada dalam realitas ke dalam karya. Sastra begitu kompleks, begitu sempurna, seorang pelukis tidak bisa menampilkan gambar hidup dalam pikiran orang yang menatap lukisannya, sangat statis. Warnanya tidak berubah, bahkan di dalam lukisannya dia tidak bisa memberikan suatu proyeksi yang sempurna. Seorang musisi juga demikian, meskipun syair-syairnya bagus, tetapi nilai keindahannya cenderung diukur dari pilihan nada. Intinya, penikmat seolah-olah dilarang berkreatif dalam memaknainya, sangat terbatas dan terhenti pada karya tersebut.

Tetapi sastra sangat dinamis, di dalam karya sastra kata “merah” langsung memberikan gambaran warna merah dalam kenyataannya, sehingga memberikan peluang kepada pembaca seluas-luasnya untuk berkreatif dalam pengembaraannya (pembacaannya). Inilah sastra bermediakan bahasa sebagai sarana ekspresinya, begitu dinamis, begitu lunak untuk dicerna, sangat jelas.

Bahasa tulis dan bahasa lisan pada hakikatnya tidak ada perbedaan, bahasa tulis hanyalah bahasa lisan yang diabadikan. Orang menulis karena ingin menjaga orisinalitas karya dan karena ingin menyebarkan karyanya. Tetapi resiko masing-masing jenisnya berbeda, pada bahasa tulisan, ditakuti terjadinya kerusakan naskah, kehilangan dan kekeliruan kopy. Oleh karenanya ada salah satu disiplin ilmu yang disebut tekstologi; ilmu ini khusus untuk mencari keaslian naskah yang telah mengalami perubahan-perubahan baik yang disengaja maupun yang tidak disengaja.

Pada bahasa lisan, sangat besar peluangnya untuk mengalami perubahan. Budaya tutur misalnya, cerita-cerita yang disampaikan secara turun temurun atau disebut sastra lisan, sering mengalami perubahan gaya penyampaian. Para penutur biasanya memodifikasi teknik penyampaiannya agar mudah dipahami, lebih indah dan lebih khas.

Dari segi interaksinya juga terdapat perbedaan, dalam proses penikmatan sastra secara lisan, penuturnya memiliki ciri khas cerita yang unik, roman wajah yang agak tegang ketika ceritanya sampai pada klimaks, gerakan tangan dan intonasi turut menuntun perasaan dan pemikiran penikmat atau pendengar. Dalam proses ini, peluang tafsiran terhadap penuturan itu sangat terbatas, karena setiap scene-nya hanya disebut sekali saja. Dalam proses ini juga pendengar diberikan kesempatan untuk bertanya dan sebagainya.

Sedangkan dalam bahasa tulisan, ciri khas penulis tercermin pada gaya berceritanya, tetapi itupun masih sangat blur. Pembacaannya bisa berulang-ulang, pilihan waktu terserah pada pembaca, dan peluang tafsiran terhadap teks juga sangat besar dan tidak terbatas, tetapi keterikatan dengan penulis sangat terbatas, tidak ada interaksi langsung. Proses pembacaannya bisa berulang kali agar dapat dipahami lebih dalam dan sebagainya.

Inilah perbedaannya, tetapi pada fungsinya sama saja, yaitu sebagai media untuk berekspresi. Bahasa adalah satu-satunya sarana komunikasi seni secara langsung maupun tidak langsung yang sangat dinamis, utamanya bagi sesama pengguna bahasa yang sama.

Setiap orang memiliki ciri khas berbahasa yang berbeda, atau dapat dikatakan bahwa kepribadian seseorang dapat terbaca lewat bahasanya. Bahasa juga merupakan wakil dari jutaan manusia, misalnya kita menyebut bahasa Inggris, sebenarnya yang kita sebut itu adalah lambang sosial yang mengikat jutaan manusia yang menggunakan bahasa tersebut.

Bahasa memiliki kekuatan pemersatu dan pembeda, di suatu tempat, kita akan merasa akrab dengan pengguna bahasa yang sama, sebaliknya kita juga merasa berbeda jika berada disekitar pengguna bahasa yang berbeda. Terlepas dari hal-hal tersebut, bahasa sebagai media ekspresi sastra memuat pemikiran penulis atau sastrawan, disampaikan kepada pembaca atau penikmat. Secara pragmatis pembaca kemudian memaknainya sesuai dengan pengalaman dan pengetahuannya.

1.5. Novel

Novel, adalah suatu karya sastra yang berupa cerita panjang (kronologi). Menceritakan suatu kejadian, baik yang terjadi maupun hanya rekayasa. Novel disebut karya sastra yang sangat menyerupai kenyataan dalam kehidupan. Novel modern adalah versi baru dari epik (karya sastra yang menceritakan tentang kepahlawanan). Karya seperti epik dan sebagainya merupakan karya-karya besar di zaman klasik atau romantik.

Pada dasarnya keinginan menulis itu bersumber dari hasrat ingin bercerita, ingin berbagi, entah itu pengalaman, pengetahuan dan sebagainya. Seorang novelis menciptakan karyanya, kemungkinan dipengaruhi oleh keinginan-keinginan pribadi yang subjektif (tidak terbaca secara ideal), namun intensi kreator dapat terbaca lewat pilihan kata yang dipergunakannya bahkan korelasi dengan aspek sejarah dan fenomena yang terjadi di masa terciptanya karya tersebut, kita bisa mengetahuinya lewat studi biogarfi.

Makna sebuah novel, dan semua karya sastra pada umumnya tidak dapat ditemukan dengan penelitian secara parsial (terpisah atau dengan meneliti bagian tertentu saja dalam sebuah novel), akan tetapi makna sebuah novel atau karya hanya bisa terbaca lewat pembacaan secara komprehensif, mendalam, terserapi dan terhayati.

Menurut Lucian Goldmann, karya sastra novel (saya lebih senang menyebut novel sebagai karya sastra mimesis) terdiri dari anasir intrinsik yang berupa jalinan struktur yang membangunnya, struktur tersebut tidak mungkin berubah satupun terkecuali akan merubah segenap sistem di dalamnya, artinya salah satu unsur jika berubah maka akan mengacaukan atau merubah unsur-unsur yang lain. (lihat bagian pendekatan strukturalisme murni).

Pembacaan karya sastra seperti novel, harus mengandaikan novel sebagai model dari realitas. Dengan demikian rasa keterlibatan bisa dominan dalam proses pembacaan. Salah satu hal yang harus benar-benar diperhatikan adalah eksistensi pengarang di dalam karyanya.

Cara yang sangat sederhana untuk mencapai keberhasilan konkretisasi dalam pembacaan karya sastra adalah dengan memodelkan karya sastra sebagai kenyataan, kemudian mengarungi kenyataan atau semesta imajiner tersebut bersama pengarang. Biarkan pengarang yang menuntun pengembaraan pikiran dan imajinasi kita, tuntunan pengarang itu terletak pada susunan kalimat, setiap kalimat yang terbaca memberikan referensi kepada imajinasi kita, membuat kita berada di dalam model kenyataan tersebut.

Roland Barthes mengatakan bahwa proses pembacaan yang berhasil adalah dengan menghilangkan subjek kreator dan fokus terhadap karya. Konsep ini didalam ilmu sastra disebut depersonalisasi. Juhl dan Gomperts sangat membantah yang disebut depersonalisasi itu.

Menurut mereka, depersonalisasi mengorbankan ciri khas pengarang, melepaskan karya dengan relevansi sosio-kulturalnya, Gomperts sangat menentang apa yang disebut depersonalisasi. Bagi beliau, mana mungkin sebuah teks tercipta tanpa ada penulis. Tak ada sebuah teks pun tanpa titik aku, yaitu personal dibalik teks (implied personal) teks tercipta oleh manusia yang hidup dalam karyanya meskipun telah meninggal dunia ribuan tahun silam.

Namun kehidupannya dan gagasan yang unik terkandung utuh dalam karyanya. Otomatis peneliti juga sadar jika teks tersebut tercipta atas intensi penulis, maksud dan tujuan penulis. Setiap gagasan yang mengalir ke jemari, mengukir kata dengan mata pena tak ada yang tak bermakna. Sekedar corat-coret diatas kertas saja memiliki arti yang mewakili isi kepala. Jika kita mengabaikan aspek pengarang, maka bagaimana kita bisa merasa terlibat dengan karya tersebut?.

Nah bagaimana kita bisa membaur dengan karya tersebut jikalau aspek pengarangnya kita lepas, hilang korelasi batiniah antara kita dengan pengarang, makna karya sastra sebagai sarana komunikasi pun turut lenyap, karya sastra menjadi barang antik yang ditemukan, bukan suatu fasilitas komunikasi yang istimewa lagi, saya pun tidak sepakat dengan konsep depersonalisasi ini.

Novel berbeda dengan karya sastra yang lain, susunannya lebih kompleks, teknik untuk menelitinya juga beragam. Novel tidak jauh berbeda dengan drama, perbedaan antara novel dan drama hanya dari teknik penulisan dialognya. Unsur-unsur lain antara novel dan drama adalah sama. Novel dan drama memiliki gaya bercerita yang tertentu, ada kalanya jalur cerita atau plotnya dari awal, tengah kemudian akhir, ada pula yang tengah, balik ke awal lalu akhir. Ini tergantung pada keinginan pengarangnya sendiri ini termasuk teknik penulisan.

Novel dan karya sastra pada umumnya tercipta oleh orang-orang yang berbakat seni, kecenderungan untuk bersastra, tidak mesti harus di dapati lewat penekuknan terhadap disiplin ilmu tertentu, tetapi bisa juga karena kebiasaan. Biasanya sensitifitas seseorang membuat dirinya cepat larut dalam situasi emosional dan passional yang selalu dominan dalam proses penciptaan karya sastra. Dan kemampuan itu dimiliki setiap orang, namun kadar sensitifitas orang berbeda-beda.

Selain itu, kemampuan nalar yang mapan juga dibutuhkan dalam penciptaan karya yang bermutu dan bernilai estetika tinggi. Dalam novel, terdapat jalinan antar aspek yang begitu ruwet, psikologi karakter digambarkan begitu jelas oleh pengarang, bahkan kausalitas dan konsekwensi setiap aksi diciptakan secara rasional dan logis. Seorang novelis pada gilirannya nampak seperti seorang sosiolog, seorang psikolog, seorang ahli hukum atu ahli agama.

Inilah novel sebagai karya sastra mimesis dengan segala kompleksitasnya. Mengenai mimesis ini akan dibahas dalam bagian pendekatan.

1.6. Puisi

Puisi, adalah karya sastra ekspresif. Hasil ekspresi penulis atas dasar pengalaman dan keprihatinan suatu kondisi. Atau bisa juga puisi atau karya sastra lain diciptakan dengan alasan mengabadikan suatu keadaan. Alasan yang terakhir ini kerap kali menjadikan karya sastra sebagai dokumen budaya.

Berikut ini akan saya paparkan beberapa teori pakar sastra yang mencoba merumuskan definisi puisi ini. Definisi-definisi ini dikutip dari buku Pengkajian Puisi oleh DR. Rahmat Djoko Pradopo, namun sejatinya definisi-definisi ini dikumpulkan oleh Shahnon Ahmad :

1. Samuel Taylor Coleridge: Puisi itu adalah kata-kata yang terindah dalam susunan terindah, penyair memilih kata-kata yang setepatnya dan disusun secara sebaik-baiknya, misalnya seimbang, simetris, antar satu unsur dengan unsur yang lainnya sangat erat berhubungan.

2. Carlyle: Puisi merupakan pemikiran yang bersifat musikal, penyair dalam menciptakan puisi itu memikirkan bunyi yang merdu seperti musik dalam puisinya, kata-kata disusun begitu rupa hingga yang menonjol adalah rangkaian bunyinya yang merdu seperti musik, yaitu dengan mempergunakan orkestra bunyi.

3. Wordsworth: Puisi adalah pernyataan perasaan yangbersifat imajinatif, yaitu perasaan yang direkakan atau diangankan.

4. Auden: Puisi itu adalah pernyataan perasaan yang bercampur-baur.

5. Dunton: Puisi itu pemikiran manusia secara konkret dan artistik dalam bahasa emosional serta berirama.

6. Shelley: Puisi adalah rekaman detik-detik yang paling indah dalam hidup kita.

Beberapa definisi di atas mengemukakan perbedaan-perbedaan ideologi yang semestinya terpadukan demi mendapatkan definisi puisi yang ideal. Puisi itu sendiri terdiri dari berbagai anasir seperti emosi, imajinasi, pemikiran, ideologi, nada, irama, kesan indrawi, susunan kata. Kiasan-kiasan, kepadatan dan perasaan yang bercampur-baur.

Puisi atau karya sastra yang lain, senantiasa merupakan gambaran keadaan suatu masa di mana karya sastra tersebut diciptakan oleh penyair.

Lewat penafsiran karya sastra maka orang bisa mengetahui keadaan pada zaman di mana karya tersebut diciptakan, karena ciri khas zaman bisa dilihat dari gambaran tokoh dalam karya, atribut tokoh (pakaian, gaya bahasa), atmosfir dan sebagainya. Oleh karenanya, penelitian sastra tidak boleh melepaskan relasi ekstrinsik dari karya tersebut.

Puisi, memiliki struktur pembangun yang berbeda dengan novel dan drama. Dalam penciptaannya, puisi ditulis sebagai ekspresi, dengan pilihan kata yang metaforis dan simbolis. Puisi seringkali mengagungkan manusia, kadang mencampakkan jati diri juga. Kalimat-kalimat dalam puisi harus memiliki kaitan tidak hanya pada arti saja melainkan harus ada persamaan bunyi, oleh karenanya dalam penulisan puisi dituntut untuk menguasai persamaan kata dan arti (oleh karenanya dalam studi sastra terdapat Linguistik dan sub-ilmunya).

Arti yang sama bisa digunakan kata yang berbeda bunyi, arti yang berbeda namun berhubungan sering kali digunakan kata yang berbunyi mirip. Biasanya hal ini kita dapati dalam pantun. Namun pada umumnya, nilai keindahan suatu puisi dinilai pada kemampuan pengarang untuk menggambarkan suatu kenyataan yang utuh dalam keseluruhan puisinya, namun menggunakan bahasa-bahasa kiasan. Kadang kala pengarang menggunakan atribut kebinatangan untuk mewakili karakter manusia yang kurang baik atau buruk. Adakalanya penulis juga memuja manusia lain di dalam puisinya dengan menggunakan persamaan sifat. Misalnya wajah yang bercahaya, disifati dengan bulan purnama dan lain-lain.

Suatu puisi akan bernilai jika puisi tersebut bisa memberikan sentuhan yang berkesan dalam hati pembaca atau pendengar, untuk itu pembacaan puisi harus disertai dengan berbagai ekspresi wajah, intonasi dan gerak tubuh. Sebagai simbolisasi konkret dari perasaan. Oleh karenanya J. Elema mengatakan bahwa karya sastra tidak bernilai jika tidak meliputi keutuhan jiwa. Saya mengartikan keutuhan jiwa ini dengan dua hal;

Yang pertama, puisi tersebut harus meliputi keutuhan jiwa pengarang. Artinya ciri khas pengarang, perasaan pengarang dan niat pengarang harus benar-benar tergambar secara jelas mengingat puisi adalah karya sastra ekspresif.

Yang kedua, puisi tersebut harus memiliki magnetisme untuk menarik jiwa pendengar dan pembaca agar fana’ atau larut dalam puisi tersebut, sehingga bisa memahami makna puisi serta terdapat kesan yang berbekas pada psikis sebagai hasil pemuasan estetis.

Aslinya, konsep keutuhan milik J. Elema ini diterangkan oleh Subagio Sastrowardoyo sebagai lima tingkatan jiwa manusia dalam menciptakan karya sastra. Lima tingkatan jiwa ini adalah sebagai berikut :

Niveau anorganis : pada tingkatan niveau anorganis karya sastera itu berbentuk formal seperti pola bunyi, kalimat, gaya bahasa dan lain-lain.

Niveau vegetatif : pada tingkatan niveau vegetatif karya sastera itu menghadirkan suasana psikologis seperti romantis, mengerikan, marah dan menangis.

Niveau animal : pada tingkatan niveau animal menghadirkan hasrat-hasrat kebinatangan seperti rakus, birahi, membunuh.

Niveau human : pada tingkatan niveau human karya sastera menghasilkan renungan-renungan bathin, rasa belas kasihan, rasa simpati dan pengalaman-pengalaman lain yang dirasakan oleh manusia.

Niveau religius : pada tingkatan niveau religius karya sastera menghadirkan renungan-renungan mengenai Tuhan, pengalaman mistik, dan renungan-renungan lain yang sampai pada hakikat.

Menilik kutipan di atas, maka saya menarik kesimpulan bahwa yang dimaksud oleh J. Elema dengan keutuhan jiwa adalah tingkat kemampuan pengarang untuk menciptakan dunia puisinya sedemikian rupa, sehingga bisa memberikan kepuasan tertentu kepada audens. Bagaimana karya sastra hadir membawa atmosfir yang sempurna dan magnetis, menarik jiwa pembaca hingga larut dalam puisi tersebut. Artinya pendengar atau pembaca merasa terlibat secara emosional atau psikologis.

Perlu saya tekankan bahwa kita tidak berbicara jenis sastra atau jenis karya sastra tertentu, tetapi kita memandang sastra sebagai suatu kesatuan yang utuh. Permasalahannya akan lain jika kita mengaitkan dengan jenis sastra tertentu. Dalam makalah ini, kita berbicara mengenai sastra secara umum.

Kita melanjutkan pembahasan puisi kita….

Kahlil Gibran, adalah seorang sastrawan besar yang dipandang paling berhasil khususnya di belahan dunia bagian Timur Tengah (Libanon). Karya-karyanya berada di antara kubu puisi dan novel atau drama. Bukan puisi karena gaya penulisannya tidak perbait, bukan novel karena plotnya tidak beraturan. Tetapi karyanya adalah puisi, novel sekaligus resital (ungkapan).

Dia menulis nasehat-nasehat kehidupan, ciri khas sastranya terlihat pada penggunaan bahasanya yang metaforis, simbolis dan penuh makna kreatorial yang tersirat.

Niat kreator biasanya tersirat dari penggunaan atau pilihan kata dalam karyanya. Sebagai pembaca sastra, atau kritikus, peneliti atau apalah namanya, kita harus ingat satu hal. Karya sastra adalah benda bertuan, dalam menilai dan memaknainya, kita boleh berkreatif semampu dan semau kita, akan tetapi kita tidak boleh mengklaim bahwa kesimpulan yang kita dapatkan adalah makna ideal dan niat tunggal kreator. Karena kita hanya berusaha untuk memaknainya kembali, kita hanya menfasirkannya kembali, yang dalam istilah saya disebut Exegesis Process. Makna ideal karya hanya ditentukan oleh pengarangnya saja.

Kita tidak bisa menjudge bentuk sebuah karya dengan mengatakan “kamu tidak boleh menulis dengan cara ini”, “dia tidak boleh menggunakan kata ini” dan sebagainya, karena makna ideal suatu karya hanya pengarangnya saja yang tahu. Itu termasuk rahasia kreator, sedangkan pembaca hanya berusaha menafsirkan atau memaknai kembali.
1.7. Relevansi Sastra Dan Sosiologi

Kita sama-sama mengetahui arti sastra sebagai salah satu chanel ekspresi seni, yaitu lewat bahasa. Sedangkan menurut arti katanya, sosiologi berasal dari kata Socius yang artinya manusia secara kolektif dan Logos yang artinya ilmu. Sehingga dapatlah kita ambil kesimpulan bahwa sosiologi artinya ilmu yang mempelajari tentang masyarakat.

Kedua disiplin ilmu ini, sastra dan sosiologi, memiliki objek yang sama, yakni manusia. Sedangkan perbedaan keduanya adalah bahwa sosiologi mempelajari realita masyarakat sedangkan sastra cenderung fiktif-imajinatif. Sehingga sosiologi dan sastra secara paralel dapat terbaca sebagai fakta dan fiksi.

Meskipun demikian, fiksi sastra hanya merupakan cara dalam mengekspresikan seni yang bernilai, hal itu sama sekali tidak merubah suatu kenyataan. Misalnya seorang novelis menulis sebuah kisah tentang tragedi yang dialaminya di suatu tempat. Teknik menulisnya yang fiktif tidak merubah kenyataan dalam keadaannya, yang ada adalah novelis tersebut berusaha untuk mengimajinasikan realitas dan pada gilirannya imajinasi tersebut direalisasikan lewat penggunaan bahasa yang istimewa, guna mewakili imagenya.

Sehingga dapat dikatakan bahwa fiksi sastra tidak merubah fakta sosial. Perubahan paradigma berpikir pembaca tentang suatu fakta sosial yang diimajinasikan dalam sebuah karya sastra merupakan suatu dinamika yang pragmatis. Tuduhan-tuduhan bahwa sastrawan mencoba mengubah suatu realita masyarakat di suatu zaman tertentu melalui karyanya, merupakan tuduhan yang sama sekali tidak beralasan, karena sastrawan menceritakan fakta sosial lewat jalur fiksi.

Jalur fiksi yang saya maksudkan pasti sudah bisa dimengerti dengan baik, bahwa sesuatu yang benar-benar ada secara konkret, disifati dalam karya sastra sebagai suatu abstraksi. Yang menjadi titik pengamatan, hendaknya bukan benda yang disifati, tetapi sifat dari pada benda (dalam karya) yang mewakili objek (yang ada dalam kenyataan).

Sehingga dapat dikatakan bahwa fakta sosial diimajinasikan dan disifati dengan segala objek lain yang sifatnya sama. Inilah yang saya maksudkan dengan jalur fiksi.

Sebagai contoh, ada penggalan puisi yang berbunyi:

Gita…Wajahmu indah bercahaya laksana bulan purnama

Bersinar terang, terangi hatiku

mesti kabut menyelimuti sebagian wajahmu

Dari penggalan puisi di atas, dapat dilihat bahwa wajah ‘Gita’ disifati seperti sifat bulan, yang terang dan bercahaya. Bukan bulan purnama secara fisik, tetapi sifat. Wajah Gita tidak tertutup kabut secara fisik, tetapi sifat dari kabut sebagai ‘penghalang’ disifati sebagai kendala untuk bisa mendapatkan Gita, dan sebagainya. Ini yang saya maksudkan dengan mengimajinasikan realitas lewat jalur fiktif. Saya memahami fiktif sebagai abstraksi, rekayasa, visualisasi atau pembayangan.

Relevansi atau keterkaitan antara sosiologi dan sastra terletak pada aspek kemasyarakatan, latar belakang historis. Dalam karya sastra Hindia Belanda, misalnya dari roman-roman yang ditulis oleh Maurits (1850-1898), kita dapat mengetahui bagaimana iklim Indonesia, kepercayaan dan adat istiadat yang berpengaruh pada tingkah laku orang Belanda di masa kolonial mereka, tata-cara susila, dan cara bergaul di dalam masyarakat pada waktu itu, peranan sebagai perubah struktur masyarakat, manfaat sastra dalam perkembangan masyarakat, keterlibatan pengarang sebagai komponen masyarakat, kaitan dengan sikap masyarakat pembaca. Dengan demikian, relevansi segi tiga antara sosiologi dan sastra adalah Pengarang, Karya dan Masyarakat pembaca.

Pengarang atau sastrawan sebagai komponen masyarakat yang terlibat secara langsung dalam proses dan fenomena sosial menciptakan karya sastra sebagai reflektor dari kondisi sosial pada masa itu, masyarakat pembaca merupakan objek yang sekaligus subjek, maksudnya adalah masyarakat bercermin terhadap karya tersebut. Maka tak heran jika karya sastra seringkali mengakibatkan suatu gelombang gerakan yang cukup berarti. Misalkan suatu karya sastra yang sifatnya provokatif dan sebagainya.

1.8. Relevansi Sastra dan Psikologi

Sebagaimana Sosiologi Sastra, Psikologi Sastra juga memiliki objek yang sama, yakni manifestasi manusia. Psikologi, ilmu yang mempelajari sifat manusia. Tetapi psikologi dalam sastra hanya merupakan pinjaman saja. Psikologi sastra bisa disebut aspek psikis yang terkait dengan karya sastra. Baik itu psikologi pengarang, psikologi tokoh dan psikologi pembaca. Perbedaannya dengan Sosiologi Sastra, Sosiologi Sastra menyoroti manusia secara kolektif, sedangkan Psikologi Sastra menyororti manusia secara personal.

Teori Sigmon Freud (via Kutha Ratna. 2003:13) menyebutkan bahwa karya seni merupakan manivestasi introver dan neurosis (aktivitas syaraf), sebagai manusia yang tidak bisa menerima kenyataan sehari-hari.

Saya berpikir bahwa Freud memaksudkan pengalaman manusia yang bersifat psikis terjelma dalam suatu kreatifitas menjadi karya seni, namun bukan hanya tidak bisa menerima kenyataan yang pahit saja, karena banyak karya sastra yang bercerita tentang keindahan, kebahagiaan dan kepuasan.

Teori Freud ini agak relevan dengan yang dijelaskan oleh Subagyo Sastrowardoyo. Subagio mengisahkan kembali isi roman Louis Couperus, De Stille Kracht (Ilmu Ghaib) yang terbit kira-kira ditahun 1900. Di dalam kisah ini, ada tokoh yang bernama Eva Eldersma hampir putus asa menyaksikan segala sesuatu yang dimilikinya menjadi rusak, bajunya, lambat laun hancur. Timbul keinginan untuk melepaskan apa saja, juga kebiasaannya akan kebersihan diri. “Hari demi hari, ada saja yang membusuk, ketumbuhan jamur dan berkarat”.

Seorang penulis Hindia Belanda Bas Veth, menulis kecaman dan merefleksikan tekanan psikisnya ke dalam tulisan yang panjangnya dua ratus lima puluh lima halaman. Sepanjang bukunya itu, Bas Veth memaki-maki keadaan diseputarnya. Salah satu kalimatnya adalah seperti di bawah ini:

“Hindia Belanda bagi saya adalah penjelmaan kesengsaraan. Waktu dua belas tahun yang saya lewatkan hidup saya di daerah-daerah pengasingan ini bagi saya merupakan dua belas impian yang mengerikan…”

“Tiada suatu pun yang menyenangkan disini, segala sesuatu serba menekan”.

Tekanan psikologis yang disebabkan oleh lingkungan sekitar menyebabkan sastrawan menciptakan karya mereka, yang mana di dalam karya mereka itu tertuang segala unek-unek yang selalu bertendang di dalam benak mereka.

Saya telah menyebut istilah Sastra Hindia Belanda, sesungguhnya yang dimaksud dengan sastra Hindia Belanda adalah karya sastra yang tercipta oleh tangan-tangan penulis blasteran Belanda-Indonesia, atau disebut Indo. Disebut sastra Hindia Belanda karena tercipta di antara gejolak psiko-sosial Indonesia dan Belanda. Pada dasarnya karya sastra ini ditulis dalam bahasa Belanda dan berpokok pada kehidupan di negeri jajahan Hindia Belanda. Ada juga yang penulisnya orang Belanda asli, keturunan Eropa bahkan ada juga dua-tiga penulis Indonesia yang karya mereka termasuk kategori sastra Hindia Belanda, seperti Soewarsih Djojopoespito dan Noto Soeroto.

Kemudian psikologi tokoh. Psikologi tokoh yang terdapat dalam semesta karya sastra, tidak terlepas dari psikologi pengarang. Maksudnya, pengarang seringkali bersembunyi di balik tokoh untuk mengurai suasana psikologinya.

Namun karya sastra seperti novel atau roman, memiliki lebih dari satu tokoh, otomatis penyediaan watak psikologis harus lebih dari satu, maka kadang-kadang pengarang sering menjadi ambivalen dalam penulisannya. Namun di sisi lain, pengarang juga mengambil contoh watak manusia riil (manusia lain) dan dimasukkan ke dalam karyanya. Yang terakhir adalah psikologi pembaca. Bagaimana pengaruh psikis yang dialami oleh pembaca ketika menikmati karya sastra. Maka intinya, relevansi sastra dan psikologi terdapat dalam proses penciptaan karya, semesta karya dan proses pembacaan karya.
1.9. Relevansi Sastra dan Moral

Dalam bagian terdepan telah saya sampaikan bahwa di dalam sastra terkandung edukasi, etika dan estetika. Aspek etika dalam karya sastra, contohnya roman atau novel, terletak pada prilaku-prilaku tokoh yang dipersembahkan oleh pengarang. Masing-masing tokoh dibekali karakter dan karakter membentuk prilaku tokoh, tetapi aksi tokoh dalam sebuah situasi tidak terikat pada watak, tetapi tindakan. Suatu tindakan yang menyebabkan pengaruh, bukan watak.

Dalam sebuah roman atau novel, tak jarang tokoh dibawa ke dalam suatu situasi dimana dia harus melakukan suatu tindakan meskipun bertentangan dengan wataknya. Nah kita lihat apa yang terjadi dengan tokoh tersebut, apa pengaruh yang diakibatkan, apa konsekwensinya terutama hubungan kausalitas antara penyebab tindakan tokoh dan akibat tindakan tokoh. Di sinilah kita lihat ada unsur “moral tokoh” secara terpisah dengan “moral tema cerita”.

Mengapa saya katakan demikian? Marilah kita lihat persoalan moral ini. Menurut Immanuel Kant, yang disebut dengan “Moral” adalah prinsip tentang perbuatan baik dan buruk, atau pertimbangan tentang keduanya. Moralitas itu sendiri adalah kesetiaan terhadap sikap bathin (inmost attitude), bukan hanya sekedar ajusmen (penyesuaian) dengan hukum yang berlaku. Dengan menilik ungkapan Immanuel Kant yang dijelaskan oleh Frans Magnis Suseno dalam Filsafat-Kebudayaan-Politik: Butir-butir Pemikiran Kritis, maka kita melihat tokoh-tokoh harus setia terhadap sikap bathin mereka, namun bagaimanakah kita mengukurnya? Sedangkan hanya pengarang sendiri yang mengetahuinya, karena tokoh tersebut diciptakan oleh pengarang cerita tersebut.

Kita bisa mendekatinya lewat hubungan prilaku atau tindakan antar-tokoh dalam kisah tersebut. Bukankah arti moral adalah pemikiran atau pertimbangan tentang kebaikan dan keburukan? Atas pemahaman akan kedua hakikat perbuatan (baik dan buruk) inilah manusia melakukan perbuatan. Dan perbuatan atau prilaku manusia tersebutlah yang menjadi indikator, dengan itu kita mengukur kualitas moral manusia tersebut.

Menurut Nurgiyantoro bahwa sastrawan menciptakan karyanya salah satu tujuannya adalah untuk menampilkan model kehidupan yang diidealkan oleh setiap manusia, dan ditampilkan lewat para tokoh. Sastrawan menawarkan sifat dan sikap luhur kemanusiaan, perjuangan hak dan martabat dan sebagainya. Pesan moral merupakan sesuatu yang ingin disampaikan oleh sastrawan kepada pembaca.

Saya menyebut pesan moral sebagai implied value yang telah ditarik sebagai hikmah dari pembacaan karya sastra. Pembacaan yang berhasil adalah pembacaan yang membuahkan nilai moral, yang bisa memberikan kita didikan tertentu dalam hal berprilaku, karena bagi saya moral itu adalah jawaban dari pertanyaan ”bagaimanakah kita harus berprilaku di hadapan manusia lain di dalam kehidupan ini”. Bagaimana kita harus bertindak berdasarkan kesadaran penuh bahwa ”inilah yang harus aku lakukan”. Hukum moral pada akhirnya menjadi suatu ajaran yang terukir dalam kesadaran manusia.

Moral dalam karya sastra ditunjukkan oleh sastrawan lewat prilaku dan tindakan-tindakan tokoh pelaksana cerita. Sebagai pembaca, kita berhak menilai atau mengukur kualitas moral tokoh, tetapi bukan itu inti dari pembacaan cerita, inti dari pembacaan cerita adalah ”ilmu”, bagaimana kita mendapatkan pelajaran tentang akibat dari prilaku dan perbuatan. Apa yang seharusnya kita lakukan dan tidak seharusnya kita lakukan jika kita mengalami hal yang sama dengan tokoh cerita termasuk faedah dari pembacaan karya sastra.

Dalam sebuah roman atau novel, tidak mungkin ada pesan moral tunggal, pesan moral bisa dilihat dari tema, tetapi tema bukanlah pesan moral. Jika tema ditentukan oleh pengarang, maka pesan moral ditarik oleh pembaca tanpa ada interupsi pengarang. Namun tema juga bisa dipilih oleh pembaca, proses pemilihan tema cerita dan penarikan pesan moral sama-sama melalui pembacaan dan penafsiran cerita.

Pembacaan karya sastra adalah sama dengan kita menatap bola bumi dari segala segi. Kita punya seribu mata untuk melihat kejadian yang tidak terlihat tokoh yang mengalami kejadian dalam cerita tersebut. Maka kita bisa melihat, tindakan tokoh ini akan menyebabkan akibat bagi tokoh ini, atau untuk dirinya sendiri. Jika tokoh di dalam cerita tersebut menampilkan prilaku-prilaku yang tidak terpuji, itu bukan berarti kita harus atau boleh menirunya, tetapi kita harus mengambil hikmah dari prilaku tidak terpuji tersebut.

Ada kaitan antara moral dalam karya sastra dengan moral sebagai tata-susila masyarakat. Biasanya sastrawan realisme-sosialis melukiskan keadaan sekitar contohnya moralitas masyarakat yang sudah bobrok kedalam ceritanya, kemudian menghubungkan dengan korban-korban prilaku masyarakat yang moralitas mereka sudah bobrok itu.

Dalam segi lain, suatu karya sastra yang menampilkan tipe hukum moral yang bertentangan dengan tipe hukum moral dalam suatu tatanan susila masyarakat pembaca, maka akan timbul kritikan, protesan dan bahkan gerakan destruktif yang diarahkan terutama kepada sastrawan yang bersangkutan, karena karyanya dianggap merongrong tata-susila yang telah berdiri tegak dalam budaya masyarakat tersebut berabad-abad lamanya.



Pendekatan adalah metodologi untuk mendekati sebuah karya sastra, Abrams merumuskan empat pendekatan yang cukup signifikan dalam penelitian karya sastra. Keempat pendekatan tersebut antara lain adalah sebagai berikut:

2.1. Pendekatan Objektif

Pendekatan Objektif adalah pendekatan yang menitikberatkan karya sastra yang bersangkutan, bukan pengarang dan bukan pembaca. Pendekatan ini mengabaikan unsur-unsur ekstrinsik karya tersebut; misalnya intensi pengarang, bahkan pengetahuan empiris pembaca. Penelitian dengan menggunakan pendekatan objektif ini hanya menekankan unsur-unsur intrinsik pembangun karya tersebut. Karya sastra terbagi dalam beberapa bentuk; Roman atau Novel, Puisi, Drama dan Essay. Dalam penelitian terhadap keseluruhan fiksi tersebut dapat menggunakan pendekatan objektif.

Pendekatan rumusan Abrams ini memandang karya sastra bersifat otonom. Karya sastra dapat diteliti secara struktural tanpa adanya korelasi denganhal-hal diluar dirinya, termasuk sejarahnya dan biografi penulisnya, termasuk relevansi sosiologis dan psikologis penulis dan pembaca.

Struktur adalah sebuah bangunan yang terdiri atas berbagai unsur yang satu sama lainnya berkaitan. Dengan demikian, setiap perubahan yang terjadi pada sebuah unsur struktur akan mengakibatkan hubungan antarunsur menjadi berubah pula unsur-unsur pembentuk struktur masing-masing karya sastra itu berbeda. Novel atau Roman sebagai karya sastra terbesar dalam bentuk memiliki unsur-unsur pembentuk yang cukup kompleks.

Salah satu bentuk pendekatan objektif adalah pendekatan struktur murni. Pendekatan yang berfokus pada unsur-unsur konstruksi karya sastra dan sama sekali tidak melibatkan unsur-unsur luaran, yang jika diteliti sama sekali berhubungan. Malahan unsur-unsur itu terbentuk sebagai kulit luar, sedangkan isi dari unsur-unsur itu adalah ideologi pengarang yang jelas terbentuk melalui pengalaman empiriknya.

Unsur-unsur intrinsik karya sastra dapat dibagi sebagai berikut:

2.1.1. Novel dan Roman

Menurut Lucian Goldmann unsur-unsur pembentuk roman antara lain adalah sebagai beikut:

1. Tema; Tema adalah akar cerita atau gagasan utama yang sekaligus memaknai keseluruhain isi cerita.

2. Plot; Plot adalah alur cerita, alur yang menjadi mengembang cerita (development of story)

3. Garis Edar; Garis Edar (Path) adalah alur kecil yang fungsinya mempertemukan para tokoh (figure).

4. Seting; Seting atau latar tempat dimana para figur melaksanakan tugasnya dalam rangka keseluruhan cerita. Seting ini dibagi atas dua macam yaitu seting geografis: tempat secara materi seperti di toko, di rumah, di kantor dan lain-lain. Yang kedua adalah seting secara antropologis: misalnya seorang tokoh berada disebuah lingkungan masyarakat yang memiliki (seluruh masyarakat memiliki) ciri khas situasi sosio-budaya, moral-etika, budaya-tradisi, pemikiran dan lain-lain.

5. Figuran; Figur atau penokohan adalah tokoh-tokoh ciptaan yang merupakan pelaksana cerita. Figur ini dibagi atas dua, yaitu main figure (tokoh utama) dan support figure (tokoh pendukung). Figur yang dibekali karakter baik disebut protagonist dan yang sebaliknya disebut antagonist.

6. Sudut Pandang; Sudut Pandang (point of view) yang digunakan oleh penulis sebagai tokoh utama. Misalnya sudut pandang orang pertama, berarti dalam roman itu menggunakan “aku” sebagai tokoh utama, atau sudut pandang orang ketiga “dia” atau biasa disebut dengan nama orang.

7. Atmosfer; Atmosfer adalah situasi figure. Suasana hati atau pikiran dan perasaan atau juga keadaan sekitarnya. Contohnya ada dua orang figur bertemu atau dipertemukan oleh penulis, karena adanya perselisihan maka terjadilah konflik, atau justru jatuh cinta. Suasana seperti ini disebut atmosfer.

2.1.2. Puisi

Menurut Rene Wellek dan Austin Warren, unsur-unsur intrinsik yang membangun sebuah puisi adalah sebagai berikut:
Lapis bunyi ; misalnya suara dalam kata, frase atau kalimat.
Lapis arti ; misalnya arti dalam fonem, suku kata, kata, frase atau kalimat.
Lapis objek ; misalnya objek-objek yang dikemukakan seperti latar, pelaku serta dunia penulis. Dan Ingarden menambahkan satu lapis lagi,
Lapis dunia ; melingkupi metafisika seperti sublim (keagungan), tragis dan kontemplatif.

Penelitian dengan menggunakan pendekatan struktur murni mengabaikan anasir ekstrinsik karya sastra yang bersangkutan. Namun para ahli sastra sepakat bahwa pendekatan ini memiliki kelemahan-kelemahan yang sangat berpengaruh pada hasil penelitian. Kelemahan-kelemahan pendekatan ini adalah hilangnya relevansi sosiologis, kultural, psikologis dan historis pengarang maupun sejarah karya yang bersangkutan. Akibatnya interpretasi karya sastra dengan menggunakan pendekatan ini mengorbankan ciri khas, kepribadian, dan juga norma-norma yang dipegang teguh oleh pengarang tersebut dalam kultur sosial yang tertentu.

Objektifitas suatu penafsiran karya sastra akan diragukan lagi. Karena memberi kemungkinan lebih besar terhadap interfensi pembaca dalam penafsiran tersebut. Oleh karenanya pertentangan terhadap pendekatan inipun dilancarkan oleh berbagai kritikus, dan sebagai pengembangan pendekatan struktur murni disempurnakan menjadi beberapa jenis pendekatan struktural yang tidak mengabaikan anasir lain diluar otonomitas karya sastra yang merupakan kekurangan pendekatan struktur murni. Disebutkan saja Strukturalisme Genetik oleh Lucian Goldmann, Strukturalisme Dinamik oleh Jan Mukarovsky, Strukturalisme Naratologi dan strukturalisme pengembangan yang lain.

2.2. Pendekatan Pragmatis

Pendekatan pragmatis adalah pendekatan yang menitikberatkan pembaca sebagai penafsir. Pembaca dipengaruhi oleh karya yang dihadapinya. Pengaruh tersebut merupakan pangkal penafsiran karya sastra. Dalam pendekatan ini, pembaca diberikan otoritas untuk menilai sebuah karya sastra.

Menurut sejarahnya, pendekatan pragmatis ini terungkap melalui tulisan Horatius di dalam buku Ars Poetica-nya. Horatius menyatakan tentang tugas dan fungsi penyair;

Aut prodesse volunt aut delectare poetae

Aut simul et lucunda et idonea dicere vitae


Tujuan penyair ialah berguna untuk memberi nikmat

ataupun sekaligus mengatakan hal-hal yang enak dan berfaedah untuk kehidupan

Salah satu dari wujud pendekatan pragmatis ini bisa dilihat pada teori konkretisasi-nya Felix Vodicka. Murid kesayangan Jan Mukarovsky. Sebenarnya teori ini mulanya oleh Roman Ingarden, seorang ahli sastra Polandia. Namun visi Ingarden sangat membatasi peran pembaca, otoritas pembaca dibatasi oleh struktur dan batas penilaian estetik. Menurut Ingarden, hanya ada satu konkretisasi ideal, lepas dari masa dan situasi pembaca.

Inilah pangkal perselisihan antara Ingarden dan Vodicka. Visi Vodicka memberikan otoritas penuh pada pembaca dengan berpegang pada prinsip bahwa karya sastra tanpa pembaca bukanlah objek estetik, melainkan artefak, struktur mati, dan hanya bisa dihidupkan lewat konkretisasi atau pemaknaan oleh pembaca.

Vodicka berpendapat bahwa makna sebuah karya sastra dikonkretisasikan oleh pembaca yang diadakan terus-menerus oleh lingkungan, waktu dan situasi yang berbeda. Pembaca sastra tidak cukup mengupas karya sastra secara otonom , diapun harus meneliti konteks pemberian makna oleh pembaca tertentu.

Pendekatan ini juga memiliki prinsip bahwa didalam karya sastra terdapat tempat-tempat tertentu yang kosong, yang harus diisi oleh pembaca yang disebut Unbestimmtheitstellen. Pengisiannya terserah pada pembaca, menurut kemampuannya dan seleranya. Tempat-tempat kosong yang dimaksudkan adalah celah-celah dalam cerita yang mengambang, close ending dan sebagainya, yang nantinya mesti ditentukan oleh pembaca. Setelah itu, penentuan makna oleh pembaca tersebut mesti menjadi milik pembaca mutlak, ini disebut Rekuperasi.

Penentuan ini terikat pada beberapa hal, yaitu pengalaman hidup pembaca, norma yang dianut serta pendidikannya yang jelas menceminkan wawasannya. Pendekatan ini juga memberikan otoritas terhadap pembaca untuk mengklaim kepantasan atau ketidakpantasannya sebuah karya sastra dibaca. Apakah karya sastra yang bersangkutan pantas dibaca atau sebaliknya.

Sebagai contoh yang baik, reaksi yang pernah terjadi di Perancis pada tahun 1857. terbit untuk pertama kalinya roman karangan Gustave Flaubert yang berjudul Madame Bovary. Roman tersebut oleh kaum Borjuis yang mapan di Paris dianggap sangat mengancam tata etika dan susila pada saat itu. Tokoh utama dalam roman tersebut adalah Emma, seorang pelaku zinah. Dalam tata etika-susila masyarakat sezaman, orang seperti Emma ini harus dihukum akibat perbuatanya. Tetapi Flaubert di dalam romannya sama sekali tidak menghukum Emma atas perbuatannya tersebut. Hal tersebut dianggap sangat berbahaya karena menjadi rongrongan tata masyarakat Perancis waktu itu.

Flaubert diancam hukuman yang berat. Namun Flaubert mengutarakan alasan cerdas dan akhirnya dinyatakan tidak bersalah. Bahwa dia tidak membiarkan Emma tidak dihukum di dalam romannya, yang sebenarnya adalah plot roman tersebut merupakan pikiran dan renungan Emma sendiri.

Gaya sastra yang sangat baru pada saat itu di Perancis. Dimana penulis membayangkan khayalan dan renungan yang ada di kepala tokoh, yang mana penilaian moralnya terserah pada pembaca tanpa mesti menghukum penulis. Gaya sastra ini disebut Reported Discourse.

Contoh di atas merupakan contoh pragmatis juga contoh yang baik penelitian resepsi sastra. Jadi intinya pendekatan pragmatis ini memberikan otoritas penuh terhadap pembaca. Dalam hal penilaian dan pemaknaan karya sastra yang bersangkutan. Berbeda bila dibandingkan dengan pendekatan lain. Pendekatan pragmatis menurut penulis sangat fleksibel karena hasil penelitian sangat bervariasi , tergantung pada pembacanya baik lingkungan sosial-budayanya maupun berhubungan aspek-aspek lain. Yang jelas akan berbeda dengan pembaca lain seperti masa, tata etika masyarakat yang berlaku dan sebagainya.

2.3. Pendekatan Ekspresif

Pendekatan ekspresif adalah pendekatan yang memandang karya sastra sebagai ekspresi pengarang. Jadi penelitian dengan pendekatan ini akan menitik beratkan kehidupan pengarang di segala aspek sebagai pokok gagasan. Karya sastra hampir-hampir menjadi suatu dunia yang menjadi sarana pertemuan bagi pembaca dan pengarang; dalam pengertian bahwa karya sastra tersebut menyiratkan ciri khas pengarang, bahkan lewat karya sastra tersebut pembaca seolah-olah terseret ke dalam sosio-kultural pengarang pada kurun masanya. Karena karya sastra memiliki sejarah penciptaannya, kaitannya dengan sosial pengarang yang menjadi pengaruh dalam penciptaan karya tersebut, bahkan sebagai indikator konvensi sastra yang dipakai. Misalnya kita membaca sebuah roman klasik, maka roman tersebut tercipta atas konvensi sastra zaman klasik.

Aspek ekspresif telah ditonjolkan pada zaman klasik kebudayaan barat, namun pengaruhnya tidak maksimal. Karena penonjolan manusia sebagai pencipta bertentangan dengan dogma Kristen mengenai manusia pada zaman tersebut (dalam hal ini ajaran agama Kristen sangat menentang pendapat manusia sebagai pencipta sesuatu, satu-satunya pencipta mutlak hanya Tuhan). Sehingga banyak penulis-penulis salaf (pertama) kehilangan namanya. Yang mungkin tersisa hanyalah penulis-penulis seperti Aristoteles, Horatius, Plato dan beberapa filsuf lainnya. Namun tak sedikit karya-karya yang penulisnya sudah tidak diketahui lagi, sehingga penulis-penulis itu disebut Longinus.

Barulah pada zaman abad pertengahan, aspek ekspresif mulai bangkit, dimana seniman atau Sastrawan (pengarang) dianggap sebagai peneladan setelah gagasan bahwa manusia meneladani ciptaan Tuhan dalam penciptaan karyanya muncul. Gagasan ini mungkin berpegang pada suatu ajaran dalam teologi Masehi, bahwa bahwa kegiatan manusia sebagai peneladan ciptaan Tuhan. Penciptaan manusia selalu bersifat penciptaan kembali. Dalam prinsip ini, manusia disebut Homo Artifex.

Pengarang di dalam pendekatan ini sama sekali tidak boleh ditiadakan, karena tidak mungkin tercipta suatu teks tanpa ada yang menciptakan, dan tak ada pencipta tanpa intensi. Pengarang ialah faktor utama yang sangat menentukan dalam penafsiran karya sastra. Juhl sangat menentang prinsip struktural dan otonomi yang melepaskan karya sastra dari kehidupan dan intensi penulisnya.

Niat penulis menurutnya, terwujud dalam proses seleksi kata dalam penciptaan karyanya.

Ini berarti niat penulis terproyeksi pada kata dalam penciptaan karyanya. Tetapi mesti dikorelasikan juga dengan data-data biografis. Oleh karenanya, pengarang sangat menentukan interpretasi karya sastra. Tentunya dalam prinsip pendekatan ini. Namun perlu dipahami bahwa esensi serta estetisnya karya sastra terletak pada ambiguitas kata yang digunakan. Sehingga ketegangan dan petak-umpet antara pembaca dan pengarang merupakan ciri khas tersendiri. Sebagaimana yang Prof. Teeuw katakan bahwa pembaca dikian-kemarikan yang merupakan interaksi antar pembaca, teks dan niat penulis.

Teeuw juga berasumsi dalam kesimpulannya bahwa bagi pembaca, hubungan antar-teks dan penulisnya mempunyai ambiguitas sebagai ciri khas sastra. Makna dari sebuah karya sastra tidak mutlak ditentukan oleh penulis, tetapi tidak juga diluar dari diri penulis.

Jadi jelasnya antara penulis, karya sastra dan pembaca, terjadi interaksi secara tidak langsung. Pembaca juga semestinya sadar, bahwa disaat membaca sebuah karya sastra (dan seluruh teks pada umumnya), pada hakikatnya berhadapan dengan seorang manusia yang juga memberikan kesempatan pada pembaca untuk berkreatif dalam menginterpretasi karyanya. Tetapi tanpa meniadakan penulis sebagai pencipta karya sastra yang bersangkutan (depersonalisasi).

Demikian secara singkat tentang pendekatan ekspresif terhadap karya sastra, suatu pendekatan yang mendekati karya sastra lewat study biografik (study tentang penulisnya) kehidupannya, niatnya yang menentukan tujuan karyanya. Meskipun diakui bahwa setiap pembaca dan peneliti memiliki kesimpulan yang bervariasi menurut situasinya. Namun pada intinya, pendekatan ekspresif menekankan penghadiran penulis sebagai faktor utama dalam penginterpretasian karya sastra.

2.4. Pendekatan Mimesis

Pendekatan mimesis adalah pendekatan yang memandang karya sastra sebagai peneladanan atau pembayangan terhadap kenyataan atau universe atau reality dalam istilah lain. Pendekatan ini sangat kompleks dan rumit, karena yang dibahas bukan hanya problematika kesastraan saja, melainkan pula problematika disiplin ilmu yang lain, yang eksis dimuka bumi seperti filsafat, psikologi, sosiologi, agama dan lain-lain.

Verdenius menyatakan bahwa, yang nyata secara mutlak hanya yang baik, dan derajat kenyataan semesta bergantung pada derajat kedekatannya terhadap Ada. Yang “baik” disini adalah kenyataan alam (naturae) dan karya sastra mimesis memiliki nilai yang diukur pada ke identikannya terhadap universe dalam istilah Abrams.

Menurut Plato, mimesis tidak menghasilkan copy yang ideal, dalam hal ini Teeuw juga menyatakan bahwa mimesis hanya bisa mendekati kenyataan, namun tidak bisa diklaim sama. Plato kemudian beranggapan bahwa karya sastra atau seni mimesis secara hierarkis berdiri dibawah kenyataan itu sendiri. Jadi karya sastra mimesis berada pada tataran rendah, wujud yang ideal tidak bisa terjelma dalam karya sastra. Teeuw juga memaparkan pengingkaran Plato akan pertentangan antara idealisme dan realisme (gagasan dan kenyataan tidak bertentangan, tapi searah menurut plato) dalam seni. Idealisme meniru atau meneladani realisme, sehingga idealisme harus meliputi kebenaran realitas secara utuh. Dan seniman mesti tunduk dan takluk pada realitas. Sehingga dari aspek tekhnik, menurut Plato; karya seorang tukang malahan lebih tinggi nilainya dibandingkan dengan seorang seniman. Karena tukang didalam karyanya efisien meniru kemutlakan benda-benda, sedangkan seniman larut dalam emosi dan nafsu (emotion and passion). Disinilah terjadi perselisihan antara Plato dengan muridnya Aristoteles.

Menurut Aristoteles, karya seorang seniman justru lebih tinggi nilainya ketimbang karya seorang tukang. Seorang tukang justru menciptakan sesuatu yang nilainya lebih rendah. Sedangkan seni justru menyucikan jiwa lewat proses yang didalam dunia seni disebut Katharsis. Dengan menimbulkan rasa kekhawatiran, khas kasihan, cinta dalam hati kita, karya seni memungkinkan kita membebaskan diri dari nafsu yang rendah. Dampak karya seni terwujud lewat pemuasan estetik, tingkatan jiwa meningkat menjadikan diri lebih budiman.

Aristoteles juga mengatakan bahwa karya seni tidak mutlak meneladani kenyataan, justru seniman menciptakan dunianya sendiri. Jadi seniman tidak mementaskan kenyataan, seniman atau Sastrawan menciptakan dunianya dengan berbagai kenisbian dan peristiwa yang logis, kausalitas yang rasional, segala aksi menimbulkan konsekuensi yang masuk akal seperti yang terdapat dalam realitas. Bahkan karya seni menurut Aristoteles sebagai sarana pengetahuan yang khas, cara yang unik untuk membayangkan solusi situasi manusia yang tidak dapat diungkapkan dengan jalan lain.

Segala sesuatu dalam karya sastra hanya menjadi saran yang merujuk pada realitas (model semiotik), namun pada hakikatnya karya sastra sebagai heterokosmos atau dunia dalam kata adalah dunia yang diciptakan oleh penciptanya. Pembacalah yang diseret masuk kedalamnya. Namun meskipun demikian, karya sastra mestilah mewujudkan kausalitas yang rasional dalam keseluruhan plotnya, sebagaimana kausalitas yang rasional sebagaimana terdapat pada realitas.

Untuk meneliti karya sastra lewat pendekatan ini, maka bukan hanya disiplin ilmu sastra saja yang terlibat. Namun berbagai disiplin ilmu ikut terlibat didalamnya. Seperti halnya filsafat, psikologi, sosiologi, antropologi, hukum dan agama. Karya sastra. Katakanlah roman, suatu jenis karya sastra tulisan yang sangat bersifat mimesis. Segala tokoh dan peristiwa di dalamnya adalah kreasi dari pada pengarang.

Tetapi pengarang mestilah memerlukan ide-ide untuk berkreatif. Dan ide-ide itu terbentuk melalui pengenalan terhadap realitas, sehingga di dalam karya tersebut ada keterkaitan, pembauran antara peneladanan dan kreasi (between mimetic and creatio) sehingga di dalam roman, tak ada realitas mutlak. Yang ada justru mimesis, pembayangan realitas yang diarahkan dan dikelola creatio. Dalam kreasi ini, penulis juga membatasi kebebasannya dalam mengolah gagasan mimetiknya. Meskipun penulis berada dalam kebebasan berkreatifnya, tetapi penulis mesti sadar bahwa dia terikat dengan konvensi realitas (rational causality and logical consequence) dalam rangka peneladanan kenyataan. Misalnya di dalam sebuah roman, ada seseorang yang dipanah tiga kali tepat di jantungnya. Peristiwa ini tidak terjadi pada kenyataan, tetapi kreasi pengarang. Dalam rangka meneladani kenyataan, maka kematian merupakan konsekuensi logisnya.

Dengan demikian dapatlah dipahami bahwa pendekatan mimesis ini digunakan dengan penganggapan bahwa karya sastra merupakan kreasi pengarang dengan meneladani realitas.



3.1. Semiotika

Semiotika atau Semiologi berasal dari kata bahasa Yunani Semeion yang artinya “tanda” atau Sign. Semiotik berarti tanda yang bermakna, sedangkan semiotika atau semiologi berarti ilmu tentang tanda. Bahasa adalah suatu bentuk sistem tanda. Bapak linguistik dunia Ferdinand de Sausurre telah merumuskan Semiotik ini dalam dua anasir, yaitu Signifier (petanda) dan Signified (yang ditandai). Sebuah kata senantiasa memiliki arti. Kata Meja merupakan suatu tanda atau petanda (signifier) yang merujuk pada suatu benda berkaki yang menyanggah suatu dataran dan biasa digunakan untuk meletakkan benda-benda diatasnya, khususnya digunakan sebagai tempat untuk menulis dan membaca, benda yang disebut meja itu beserta sifatnya itulah yang disebut dengan yang ditandai (signified).

Bahasa sebagai media ekspresi seni sastra berbeda dengan media-media lain yang digunakan untuk mengekspresikan seni lain, seperti cat untuk pelukis, nada untuk musisi dan sebagainya. Media-media non-linguistis (yang bukan bahasa) ini sebelum digunakan bersifat netral. Cat merah sebelum digunakan belum memiliki arti apa-apa, nada pun demikian. Namun bahasa sudah memiliki arti meskipun belum digunakan sebagai medium bersastra. Sehingga dapat dikatakan bahwa bahasa sebagai sistem tanda merupakan tingkat pertama dan ketika bahasa digunakan sebagai media bersastra maka bahasa sastra itu sendiri menjadi sistem tanda tingkat kedua, karena dalam bersastra, arti-arti bahasa itu mengalami penambahan dan pendalaman arti yang sejatinya menambahkan satu unsur lagi dalam sistem tanda setelah Signifier dan Signified, yaitu Significance atau Makna.

Meskipun demikian, sastra sama sekali tidk dapat terlepas dari sistem bahasa. Walaupun karya sastra sebagai semiotik tingkat ke dua, namun karya sistem sastra berpegang teguh pada sistem bahasa. Hal ini disebabkan karena bahasa itu sudah merupakan sistem tanda yang mempunyai artinya berdasarkan konvensi tertentu.

3.2. Retorika

Setiap sastrawan pasti memiliki gaya bahasa tersendiri. Malahan setiap manusia memiliki gaya bahasa tersendiri. Bertolak dari ideologi bahwa bahasa mencerminkan karakteristik seseorang, sehingga masing-masing orang memiliki gaya bahasa yang unik. Tak terkecuali para sastrawan. Mereka memiliki gaya bahasa masing-masing dan gaya bahasa itu menjadi warna tertentu dalam setiap karya mereka.

Gaya bahasa ialah susuna perkataan yan terjadi karena perasaan yang timbul atau hidup dalam hati penulis, yang menimbulkan suatu perasaan tertentu dalam hati pembaca. Gaya bahasa ini terbentuk dari perasaan, pemikiran beserta maksud dan tujuan penyampaian. Sehingga perasaan yang berbeda-beda, pemikiran yang berbeda-beda, maksud dan tujuan penyampaian yang berbeda-beda akan membentuk gaya bahasa yang berbeda-beda pula.

Namun meskipun setiap bentuk gaya bahasa berbeda dan unik, namun ada beberapa kesamaan yang dapat dipergunakan dan ini biasanya disebut sarana retorika (rhetorical devices). Sarana retorika ini bermacam-macam, namun setiap angkatan sastra memiliki ikon yang menunjukkan corak retorika yang digemari pada angkatamn atau periode itu. Hingga saat ini, penulisan karya sastra terutamanya puisi atau sajak, memiliki beberapa corak, namun menurut saya setiap periode mewarisi dan mengakulturasi corak-corak retorika periode-periode sebelumnya, karena para sastrawan senantiasa ingin mengadakan sebuah inovasi, pembaruan yang menentangi konvensi.

Beberapa jenis sarana retorika yang dapat disampaikan secara singkat dalam bagian ini antara lain; Tautologi, Pleonasme, Retorik Retisense, Paralelisme, Enumerasi, Paradoks, Hiperbola, dan Kiasmus.

a. Tautologi

Tautologi ialah sarana retorika yang menyatakan hal secara berulang, setidaknya dua kali. Pengulangan ini dilakukan guna memperdalam arti kata atau keadaan terhadap pembaca atau pendengar. Meskipun secara fonologis pengulangan itu tidak terdengar atau terbaca sama, namun secara semiotis perulangan itu merujuk pada suatu hal atau arti yang sama, namun lebih mendalam. Misalnya: silih berganti tiada henti; tiada kuasa tiada daya, larinya cepat semakin cepat, dsb.

b. Pleonasme

Pleonasme ialah sarana retorika yang sekilas seperti Tautologi. Namun kata yang disebut kedua sebenarnya telah tersimpul dalam kata yang pertama. Perulangan ini dimaksudkan agar maksud menjadi lebih jelas. Misalnya: naik meninggi, turun melembah jauh ke bawah, tinggi membukit, jatuh ke bawah, dsb.

c. Retorik Retisense

Retorik Retisense ialah sarana retorika yang menggunakan banyak titik-titik. Penggunaan titik banyak ini untuk menggantikan perasaan yang tidak dapat diungkapkan. Contohnya: hatiku ini….. oh….., kasihku……, dsb.

d. Paralelisme

Paralelisme ialah pengulangan isi kalimat yang maksud tujuannya serupa. Kalimat yang berikut hanya dalam satu atau dua kata berlainan dari kalimat yang mendahului (Slametmuljana dalam Pradopo, 1990:97). Contohnya: Segala kulihat segala membayang, segala kupegang segala mengenang.

e. Enumerasi

Enumerasi ialah sarana retorika yang berupa pemecahan suatu hal atau keadaan menjadi beberapa bagian, agar hal-hal tersebut terkesan lebih jelas dan detil. Contohnya: di dalam suka di dalam duka, waktu bahagia waktu merana, masa tertawa masa kecewa, kami terbuai dalam nafasmu.

f. Paradoks

Paradoks ialah sarana retorika yang menyatakan sesuatu secara bertentangan, tetapi sebenarnya bila sungguh-sungguh dirasakan, sama sekali tidak bertentangan. Contohnya: hidup yang terbaring mati, aku beku dalam kepanasan, dsb.

g. Hiperbola

Hiperbola ialah sarana retorika yang melebih-lebihkan suatu keadaan. Guna menyangatkan, untuk intensitas dan ekspresivitas. Contohnya: cinta ini setinggi langit, wajahmu seperti matahari, dsb. Paradoks ini ada yang menggunakan penjajaran kata yang berlawanan seperti pertentangan hidup-mati, dalam kalimat: kesusahanku membuat hidup serasa mati. Paradoks ini disebut oksimoron.

h. Kiasmus

Kiasmus adalah sarana retorika yang menyatakan sesuatu diulang, dan salah satu bagian kalimatnya dibalik posisinya. Misalnya: diri mengeras dalam kehidupan, kehidupan mengeras di dalam diri.

Demikian sarana-sarana retorika yang seringkali digunakan untuk menciptakan sebuah karya sastra. Kebanyakan dari sarana retorika di atas adalah untuk memperdalam makna, memperjelas, mendetilkan dan menyangatkan makna agar pendengar atau pembaca bisa lebih mampu memahami maksud dan kondisi jiwa pengarang.

Pengarang mewujudkan keinginan hatinya lewat pilihan kata dan rangkaian kata-kata tersebut sehingga karyanya melahirkan suatu medan semantis yang magnetis, yang begitu menarik perhatian dan membuat pembaca atau pendengar larut dalam kesyahduan isi karyanya.

Oleh karenanya, agar tujuan pencapaian pemuasan estetis ini tercapai, demi pengutaraan maksud dan isi hati secara tepat, maka untuk itu haruslah dipilih kata-kata setepat mungkin. Pemilihan kata ini disebut diksi.

Menurut Barfield kata-kata yang dipilih itu menimbulkan imaginasi estetik, untuk mendapatkn kepuitisan atau nilai estetik. Dengan kata lain, kata-kata tersebut meghasilkan suatu renungan jiwa yang dalam, sehingga memungkinkan seorang pembaca atau pendengar mengalami kepuasan estetis. Menurut J. Elema, karya sastra harus meliputi keutuhan jiwa, Subagyo Sastrowardoyo menerjemahkan hal tersebut sebagai karya sastra yang mampu dijiwai secara utuh. Jika sebuah karya sastra dapat dijiwai, atau setidaknya dapat menghadirkan suatu kesadaran lain dalam perenungan jiwa, maka karya sastra tersebut dapat merubah jiwa seseorang menjadi lebih budiman, ini yang dimaksud oleh Aristoteles dengan proses penyucian jiwa lewat seni atau Katharsis.

Demikianlah yang dapat kami paparkan dalam makalah ini, semoga bisa menjadi suatu sumber pengetahuan, setidaknya menjadi untoduksi sastra kepada para pelajar dan mahasiswa, khususnya bagi mereka yang belum memahami apakah sastra serta teori konstruksi dan konkretisasi sastra.

Faruk, DR. 1999. Pengantar Sosiologi Sastra. Yogyakarta. Pustaka Pelajar

Kutha Ratna, Nyoman. 2003. Paradigma Sosiologi Sastra. Pustaka Pelajar.

Kentjono, Djoko. 1982. Dasar-dasar Pengantar Linguistik. Universitas Indonesia Press.

Kutha Ratna, Nyoman. 2004. Teori, Metode dan Penelitian Sastra. Yogyakarta. Pustaka Pelajar.

Nurgiyantoro, Burhan. 1998. Teori Pengkajian Fiksi. Yogyakarta. Gadjah Mada University Press.

Pradopo, Rachmat Djoko. 1990. Pengkajian Puisi. Yogyakarta. Gadjah Mada University Press.

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