Multi-Attributive Social Embeddedness in Cultural Tourism Development: A Case of the Osing Community in Indonesia

Multi-Attributive Social Embeddedness in Cultural Tourism Development: A Case of the Osing Community in Indonesia

Iwan Nurhadi* Titik Sumarti Arya H. Dharmawan Didin S. Damanhuri

Department of Communication Science and Community Development, Faculty of Human Ecology, IPB University, Bogor 16680, Indonesia

Department of Economics Science, Faculty of Economics and Management, IPB University, Bogor 16680, Indonesia

Corresponding Author Email:
1 November 2022
18 January 2023
28 January 2023
Available online: 
28 February 2023
| Citation



A vast development of the rural tourism induces social transformations and economic enhancement. The tourism activities suggest the transformation process of how social attributes of the actors work in the social network. It is exemplified in Banyuwangi, in which the cultural festival, as the main tourism attraction in Osing Community, is manifested in the social embeddedness of the tourism actors. This article aims to explain the complexity of social embeddedness in tourism and further analyze the typology and processes of social embeddedness among tourism actors. This study employed a qualitative approach with a case study design through in-depth interviews with 29 tourism actors and semi-participatory observations. The cultural tourism activities were constructed by multiple embeddedness typologies, namely relational and structural, institutional, political, and spatial embeddedness which affect actors' rationality into more complex social actions. The process of social embeddedness was framed by social norm reference and social networks among tourism actors to sustain the tourism business and strengthen Osing ethnic identity. This study allowed for a better understanding of the complexity of embeddedness that occurs in cultural tourism in a rural setting, which is against, yet completes the original ideas of social embeddedness theory in an urban industrial context.


cultural tourism, economic rationality, indigenous community, multiple embeddedness, rural tourism, Osing community

1. Introduction

Recent developments in tourism studies have led to renewed interest in understanding tourism as a social phenomenon. Tourism is recognized as an economic activity embedded in the spheres of society and its institutions. It is embedded in every level of social reality and sectors of collective life including the economy, politics, geography, ecology, and technology. The activities are significantly influenced by the degree to which the tourism actor is socially embedded with values, customs, and norms. For that reason, studying tourism as an economic activity could be best conducted by considering a new economic institution paradigm in which economic action is understood as a social action, and thus the analysis must consider social perspective to have a relevant and comprehensive understanding [1]. This idea is consistent with that of the studies [2, 3] that asserted social domain always frames human economic action where non-economic goals, such as the sustainability of social relations and social contexts also situate the economic actions.

1.1 Social embeddedness and tourism studies

To date, several studies have investigated tourism based on social embeddedness that successfully emerged a more complex concept of embeddedness. Variations in the concept of social embeddedness arise by presenting the complexity of contextual relationships to produce the concept of structural, relational, institutional, territorial, geographical, spatial, ecological, political, and temporal attachments [4]. The following is the compilation of the dimensions of social embeddedness adapted from Frankowska.

Table 1. Embeddedness in tourism studies


Embeddedness typology



Structural and relational embeddedness



Positional embeddedness

[8, 9]


Territorial embeddedness



Cultural embeddedness

[13, 14]


Institutional embeddedness

[15, 16]


Temporal embeddedness



Political embeddedness



Geographical embeddedness



Mix embeddedness and multiple embeddedness


Table 1 presents the social embeddedness theory initiated by Granovetter has developed into a more complex concept. Contemporary studies prove that embeddedness is not only limited to social embedding but also develops into structural and relational, positional, territorial, cultural, institutional, temporal, political, geographical, spatial, ecological, and multiple embeddedness as the latest concepts.

Even though those previous research studies have upgraded the original concept of embeddedness into a more complex and various typologies of embeddedness renowned as multiple embeddedness, most previous studies used a partial concept of embeddedness to analyze tourism. Previous studies were limited to scrutinizing the phenomena in tourism from the novel and comprehensive embeddedness perspective. In addition, the analysis of rural and cultural tourism was limited. The characteristics of the rural society that hold tight to tradition perhaps affect different typologies of embeddedness in tourism studies.

Moreover, the lack of discussion of change, identity, and authenticity in rural communities results in negative possibilities such as weakening of identity, regardless of cultural roots, and breaking up, as well as misplaced heritage, traditions, and memories [20]. For that reason, researchers argue that it is the right time to study rural and cultural tourism using the embeddedness perspective to supplement new insights and gain an in-depth understanding of what embeddedness undergirding tourism economic action and how the embeddedness shapes local people's economic action manifested in tourism activities.

The development of social embeddedness theory in contemporary research still leaves room for research on social embeddedness in tourism phenomena pertinent to cultural tourism in rural areas even though it is necessary to create a local community-based life image [21]. It confirms other findings that reveal the power of ethnic identity negotiations due to tourism policies in the Tibetan region in demanding economic benefit rights, shifting moral values in WHS in China [21], strengthening identity and bonding between local communities [1]. The negative impact of over-embeddedness was also identified as decreasing work productivity, decreasing the quality of work, increasing stress in tourism in Melaka [1], lifestyle changes in Bangkok [22], and creating negative stereotypes about Chinese people such as the culture of shopping, dining, transformation, education, and infrastructure. In short, research on the impact of value transition in the local community is necessary to prevent social distortion due to changes in the orientation of cultural values.

The central thesis of this paper is to investigate the complexity of embeddedness and the process of embeddedness in the development of cultural tourism in the Osing Community, Banyuwangi, Indonesia. This article aims to explain the complexity of embeddedness in cultural tourism and analyze the processes of embeddedness among tourism actors. To answer these questions, researchers employ case studies with in-depth interviews with tourism actors and field observations.

This work will generate fresh insight into the use of social embeddedness theory in the study of cultural tourism in rural areas. Further, it will be useful for deepening the knowledge of social phenomena that are considered 'traditional societies' and have been positioned as targets for development project planners. In line with that, this article offers a comprehensive effort to understand the phenomenon of tourism in rural areas by using the concept of multiple embeddedness that was originally built in research related to entrepreneurial growth carried out by immigrants migrating to Europe [23, 24]. In tourism studies [19, 25] argued that analysis using the concept of multiple embeddedness shows the flexibility of transforming livelihood systems from traditional livelihoods to contemporary livelihood systems (tourism) and vice versa while maintaining multi-actor social ties in social networking relationships and the complexity of the attachment context itself. Therefore, this study makes major practical and theoretical contributions to research embeddedness in a rural setting. The practical contributions are illustrated in the use of research results as a framework and considerations to make regulation regarding to the tourism working system. They also demonstrate the work of tourism actors’ attributes in social network, thus a harmonic working system that leads to sustainable tourism could be realized. Moreover, the results give new insights that tourism actors are embeddeded in more complex embededness context. They work more complex and differently from one another, depending on the context where a social-economic action takes place.

2. Materials and Methods

The research used the case study method with a single-case holistic design. The benefits of this method are gaining a detailed understanding of how and why the research phenomenon is unique and presenting it from different perspectives and in a specific context [26]. In this research, the case study method was used to allow deep insights into the form of embeddedness in Osing tourism activities and the process of embeddedness in Osing tourism activities.

The Osing Community resides at Kemiren Village located at a low topographic altitude of 144 meters above sea level. The Osing Community spreads across 9 sub-districts in Banyuwangi Regency (Figure 1). The area is dominated by rice fields and connected downtown Banyuwangi from the east with Kalibendo Plantation and Taman Suruh Baths to the west. The majority of the people practice agriculture and agricultural rites. They are original people who are isolated from the rest of the Blambangan Kingdom.

As a case study, the cultural festival organized by the Osing Community was selected. The unit analysis was chosen purposely for several reasons. Firstly, the Osing Community is a well-known cultural destination with many attractions performed in the annual festivals called Banyuwangi Ethno Carnival (Figure 2).

Figure 1. Map of research setting

(Source: Rupa Bumi Indonesia, 2019)

Figure 2. Banyuwangi Ethno Carnival 2019

(Source: Personal Documentation of the Researchers, 2019)

Secondly, the popularity of the Osing Community as an icon of Banyuwangi tourist destinations reflects the existence of social embeddedness in tourism development policies formulated by the Banyuwangi Government. Third, as a tourism icon, the Osing Community has repeatedly received provincial and national awards in the tourism sector that legitimate Kemiren Village as best practitioner of cultural tourism.

Data were collected from in-depth interviews conducted with 29 Osing tourism actors. Key informants were used to reach all informants. Researchers asked for information about all tourism actors who would be contacted to be involved as informants. This assistance is useful for opening access and building closeness with the respondents so that the interview results are more accurate.

The informants were owners or managers of accommodation companies, restaurants, souvenir shops, tour guides, and local artists who were directly involved in tourism. Village governments and local governments such as the Culture and Tourism Office and the Communications and Information Office were also interviewed as they are involved in producing policies and the central actors of tourism activities in the Osing Community. The selection of informants was based on three main attributes: being involved in Osing Community tourism activities, agreeing to participate in this research, being the owner or manager of tourism business cooperation, and having knowledge of business cooperation with other entities in the Osing Community.

With the use of in-depth interviews, participants were asked open questions about their tourism activities in Osing Community with other tourism actors. Also, they were asked about their social relationships with other tourism actors. It was essential to know the types of relations (dyadic/personal, structural, vertical, and horizontal) and how the relationships influence their business cooperation, the relation characteristics, its process, and the results.

After the interview was conducted, the next phase of the interview recording was immediately transcribed and analyzed. Data analysis consisted of data condensation, data display, and data verification [27]. The researcher began by deducing using the potential for social embeddedness identified earlier in the literature. Then these codes were specified inductively based on research analysis. To code the interviews, Nvivo was used and the coding results were added to the text as validation of the scientific analysis [5]. Furthermore, to deepen knowledge about social embeddedness and research conclusions, semi-participatory observations were made during the festival in the Osing Community.

3. Results and Discussion

As the first aimed to describe the complexity of embeddedness in rural tourism in the Osing Community, the results are initially presented by describing the commodification of Osing Kemiren ethnocultural to understand how the starting point how embeddedness occurs in particular circumstances. The understanding of commodification was important since once a cultural rite was commodified, it immersed into capital circuits which generated a series of impacts on the structure of social networking, political relation, economic interest, and cultural meaning for the society [28].

The main actors involved in cultural tourism in the Osing Community were the Banyuwangi Regency Government, the Kemiren Village Government, BumDes Jolosutro (village-owned enterprises) in Kemiren Village, and the Pokdarwis Kencono (tourism awareness group) as organizers of various tourism activities as well as micro and small enterprises managed by the local people including culinary businesses, homestays, tour guide, souvenirs, and the involvement of artists and cultural practitioners who present dances and rituals that are commodified in various festivals.

The Banyuwangi Regency Government provides infrastructure such as the Banyuwangi International Airport, widening the road along the route to the Ijen crater, developing tourism institutions in tourist destinations, and politically mobilizing regional apparatus organizations for various festival events. Meanwhile, local people, the Osing Kemiren Community, are changing the social space and ethnocultural landscape for the benefit of tourists, following the standardization of homestays encouraged by the district government, waste management, and establishing a special area for the construction of exotic Osing traditional houses. All of these community efforts were born from local government initiatives by utilizing Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) funds from various state-owned enterprises. Consequently, within 10 years the Osing Community in Kemiren Village has a new livelihood system in the tourism sector alongside rice farming which has been the main livelihood since the establishment of Kemiren Village.

The commodification of rituals, dances, arts, and lifestyles of the Osing Community opened a negotiation space between those who chose rituals that were open to modification and those who maintained the ritual form as it was. In practice, the Osing Community compromised by doing selective commodification [29]. The more sacred a ritual is, the more closed it is to modification and the less sacred a ritual is, the more open it is to commodification. The selective commodification initiative carried out by the Osing Community has been supported by the local government. The local government in this case played a role in providing formal legal instruments for the implementation of various festivals while maintaining the authenticity of the rituals and giving the right for tourism management to the Pokdarwis Kencono as the official institution that organized tourism activities in Kemiren Village. In short, the selective commodification of the Osing Community was the entry point into the complexities of the embeddedness.

In carrying out tourism activities, the Osing Community selectively commodified rites. In this case, it appears that the people of Osing already have schemata and knowledge of sacred and profane rites. It is noticed a pattern of selective commodification that the more sacred a rite is, the less likely it is to be commodified. However, selective commodification perhaps is only a temporary large-scale commodification preventive tool. This can be seen from the economic impact of tourism that has involved and necessitated the transition of socio-cultural values that are unique to the local community. Social ties, social values, and traditions are maintained, but they are carried out in a context that recently has a completely different meaning from what happened in the past. That is, "the persistence of tradition", the persistence of social values (especially those that occur on the stage of tourist performances) is different from the situation before the tourism development.

The persistence of local sociocultural traditions and values is maintained not because the local community is resistant and sterile to change, but rather due to the utilitarian pragmatism of the performance following the demands of external desires (tourists) for the sociocultural authenticity that they want to witness. Traditions and sociocultural values seem to survive, but only as an instrumental tool to generate economic benefits from tourism and not as a benchmark for the original social identity to be maintained and proud of. At this point, there is a problem of cultural embeddedness that begins to be a dilemma.

Dialectic of cultural authenticity with tourism interests is unavoidable. The local community tries to separate the reality of the world of performance and reality. They recreate rituals, performances, dances, costumes, or culinary practices like old traditions. However, in the spirit of new ethics and aesthetics that are full of "commercial artificiality", the demands of the exoticism of the tourism market cause a divergence of cultural meanings for the Osing people themselves. In the practice of daily life, the social traditions and original social values are no longer as persistent and immobile as expected. Local communities have experienced further social changes accompanied by their intersection with modernity, the money economy, commercialism, individualism, and tourism development. In other words, they still present original local art and cultural attractions, so the "flashback to the old tradition" is just an artificial tradition. Everything is fictitious so it is nothing more than a medium that is recomposed according to the wishes of tourists, commercialism interests, and purely economic development interests.

At this point, the artistic and cultural attractions of the local community in the performance arena witnessed by tourists are not fully embedded with the social traditions or original social values (authentic-classical) of the local community. Cultural tourism in this case faces the problem of not only shifting embeddedness but also complex multiple embeddedness. This situation coincides with pseudo-authenticity and the potentially destructive commercialization of culture.

The factor that underlies the creation of complex rationality in tourism activities in the Osing Community is the embeddedness of economic activity in several embeddedness contexts. The relation among tourism actors in running tourism activities urges complex and multiple embeddedness. This finding confirms that tourism cannot be separated from stakeholders (government, local communities, and private parties) and the embedded social attributes of each actor.

The second aim of this article is to explain the processes that occur in the Osing community social embeddedness. In detail, the typology of embeddedness and the process are described as follows.

3.1 Relational and structural embeddedness

Tourism actors in the rural tourism Osing Kemiren were embedded in two types of social relations, namely relational embeddedness, and structural embeddedness. Relational embeddedness was characterized by individual relationships with individuals of a dyadic, while structural embeddedness occurred in the broader social relationships in the social environment. The relational embeddedness was drawn from the direct mention of the names of actors involved in social relations. Generally, kinship nicknames were also used. Personal relationships with tourists took place simultaneously in the process of establishing business relations in Kemiren Village to maintain the reputation and sustainability of the good image of Kemiren Village.

On the other hand, structural embeddedness was typified by various social relationships and interdependence between one actor and others, for example, the knowledge of who connected with whom and someone works with others, or even knowing the history of the travel business someone runs. In addition, another significant characteristic of structural embeddedness was trust as the basis of a business relationship. In the case of Osing community, the foundation of trust can be identified.

The kinship context also nuanced the embeddedness in the Osing Community. The kinship relationship of the Osing Community, which is relatively still connected to the same ancestor, or at least identifies itself from the same ancestor was considered a self-identity that underlies communal life. The historical narrative that forms the Osing entity also provided a homogeneous identity instilled in the socialization and knowledge construction of the Osing Community.

Relational and structural embeddedness are the two most basic types of embeddedness from Granovetter's social embeddedness theory. Relational embeddedness is defined as a social relationship that connects two individuals (dyadic), while structural embeddedness is limited to the understanding of relationships that are more than two individuals in which social networks are formed and affect economic transactions. The characteristics of relational embeddedness and structural embeddedness can be seen from the social relations attached to trust to reduce the vulnerability of economic transactions due to ongoing information uncertainty. The factors for the formation of relational embeddedness and structural embeddedness are mainly formed by informal social relations that are connected with family, relatives, neighbors, and distant colleagues (acquaintances). The social relations that are formed last for a long period. The results of interviews with tourism business entrepreneurs have been in the Kemiren Village area since they were small and internalized the same cultural values. The emergence of in-group feeling mediates social relationships based on trust, even though this condition occurs across generations.

Otherwise, the structural embeddedness can be identified in the management of the Pasar Kampung Osing. The aspect of trust is a social attribute attached to people who are considered to have social skills to manage and distribute economic benefits derived from tourism management. The spirit of prioritizing the interests of others eventually became the basis for social relations to take place in harmony. This situation also confirms that economic activity is no longer simply seen as an instrumental action motivated by profit maximization but is attached to trust between actors in perpetuating social relations.

3.2 Institutional embeddedness

Institutional embeddedness refers to the interaction process of formal and informal rules which results in two possibilities, namely close coupling [7, 26]. In the development of cultural tourism in Kemiren, institutional embeddedness was characterized by the presence of formal regulations formulated by the local government regulating tourism management organizations in Kemiren Village and unwritten social regulations such as norms (weluri), rituals, and other customary rules exist in Osing Community.

The formalization of the Jolosutro village-owned enterprise which oversaw the Pokdarwis Kencono, the determination of the Gandrung Dance, the Banyuwangi tourism mascot, the Tumpeng Sewu ritual as intangible cultural heritage, a road map document for Banyuwangi tourism development, a policy prohibiting the construction of hotels under three stars were formal rules that have an influence on tourism development in Kemiren Village. Meanwhile, the ethnocultural system of the Osing community shows a distinctive character that typified the Osing cultural identity. The value of respect and appreciation for guests who come in follows the core value of tourism which emphasizes hospitality in providing its services.

After 2017, the enactment of tourism management rules in Kemiren Village through legal rules and policies made by the Village Government became the transformation point of Osing Kemiren tourism. The formal institution has major involvement in promoting tourism in Kemiren. Local rules and norms exhibited an important complementary nature. Osing's ethnocultural authenticity was the main attraction in tourism in Kemiren Village. Thus, the government's authority and power were democratic and provided space for the Osing community's initiatives to modify its cultural heritage. In this case, the formal rules from the state were no longer the single factor that drove the Osing economic actions, but also accompanied by local wisdom-based rules that also facilitated the emergence of economic actions in Osing Kemiren tourism. All in all, this situation could be comprehended as a condition of the close coupling between formal rules and informal rules.

The institutional transition of tourism in the Osing Community has transformed a state-dominated sector into a market-based economic space. However, different perspectives on the commodification of culture affect the participation of local communities. As a result, the Osing Community has not positioned itself as a major player in tourism economic transactions. Formal institutions along with their regulations have been developed for tourism purposes. Institutions such as Pokdarwis and village-owned enterprises already have a clear legal basis, but the norms and values as a community are still not internalized by the community running the tourism activities. Therefore, in the context of institutional embeddedness, it can be comprehended that the Kemiren Community is in the midst of formal transformation but has not yet institutionalized tourism in their daily lives. In short, tourism institutions in Kemiren Village are still operating at the formalization level but have not yet reached the level of institutionalization. This finding is in line with [20] that stated the tension between formal institutions and informal institutions in the tourism accommodation business carried out by local communities will end with the strengthening of formal organizations in their management. In this phase, it seems that the growth of community institutions is in the early stages of development. Institutional formalization is supposed to obtain great attention in tourism, but the degree of institutional embeddedness also needs to be cautious because of the negative influx such as hindering innovation, limiting economic rationality in tourism development, and dependencies that cause the vulnerability of emerging institutions to grow due to incentives that are too much facilitated by the government.

3.3 Political embeddedness

Political embeddedness focused on the analysis of the embedded workings of political forces that accompany social relations between local communities and government bureaucratic structures as well as with the private sector. It also highlighted how formal rules were formed through lobbying, negotiation, and social exchange approaches. Tourism activities showed the political dimension is closely related to the sociocultural dimension of society. The initial initiation of the Kemiren Village Government to organize Karang Taruna and establish Pokdarwis was not only based on political power but there was a close relationship with social relations and the basis of cultural values undergirding the political embeddedness. Pokdarwis received funding and facilitation assistance from Kemiren Village Government to promote and commodify various activities, both artistic and ritualistic, which were still taking place in Kemiren Village. This condition became a kind of transactional relationship because the Kemiren Village Government also required recognition from the Banyuwangi Regency Government about the success of the tourism program in Kemiren Village. The roles of Pokdarwis in Osing tourism reflect those of who also found that Pokdarwis enhanced the development of tourism development by facilitating and empowering the community. It also has a substantial role in recovering village tourism during the pandemic Covid-19 outbreak in the coastal area of Teritip Village, Balikpapan, Indonesia [30].

Moreover, the strategy taken by the Village Government to lobby officials in the Banyuwangi Regency government so that they can attend every festival event was another evidence of the effective working of political relations. The presence of Banyuwangi Regency officials including the Regent in festival moments was the validation of Kemiren Village's claim of success in developing tourism. This situation was the indication of the close coupling of the Regent's political vision with the interest of village government officials to accelerate the economic growth of Kemiren Village through tourism. The success of the Osing Community to organize various cultural festivals as part of developing Banyuwangi tourism has become the legitimacy of the state's power in maintaining the tourism sector as a mainstay strategy in creating Banyuwangi's economic growth.

The formalization of tourism management institutions was also evidence of the workings of the political power of the village government in mobilizing community participation in tourism activities. The involvement of youth in Karang Taruna became a stabilization in the formation of a Jolosutro village-owned enterprise in which its establishment was legalized through the provisions of Village Regulation 188/7/429,503.02/2017 concerning the determination of the composition of the Pokdarwis Kencana management in Kemiren Village, Glagah District, Banyuwangi Regency in 2017.

Meanwhile, in terms of tourism business actors, tourism activities did not have much impact on their income. From several interview sessions with homestay owners, for example, it seems that the reputation of Kemiren Village was more important than just earning money from the services they provided. The trust factor was still the main basis in social network relations so the power relationship between the state and the Osing Community was not a coercive act but an action based on the principle of exchange from the actors. Also, the costs and benefits of the festivals were established based on the political and economic support from the Banyuwangi government. Considerations of costs and benefits are thus influenced by political support from the state [31].

The political embeddedness highlighted the rationality of development reflects the political vision and mission of the regional leader, the Regent. The focus is directed to the protection of cultural heritage as an authentic commodity through regular planning and is supported by the formalization of tourism management institutions. The design of formal institutions has succeeded in establishing social networks with informal institutions. Formal institutions become more detailed and complete, and local governments can cope with different situations by following the innovations and creations of local communities. On the other hand, the legitimacy of formal institutions is obtained by alignment with top-level formal institutions.

Based on the political embeddedness, the Osing entity is divided into two characteristics. First, the ability of the Kemiren Village Government to encourage the Osing embeddedness to participate in tourism demonstrates the dimensions of power and obedience associated with broader social networks. Legal instruments have been created to ensure the participation of people who support tourism. This notion is relevant [32] who found the government’s efforts and regional regulations to develop nature-based tourism to shift from tin mining in Bangka Island, Indonesia although people still perceived mining as the dominant and preferred activity in the area. The finding also accords with that of [33] who asserted that juridical power becomes the functional management for local potential including tourism. Similarly, Utami et al. [34] also found that leaders, in this case, government, perform to move the community to participate n the development of tourism.

Second, the Osing Community is not only a passive entity that is adept at playing in the current situation but also has the agency to be able to decide what is in their best interest as individuals or as communities. The mobility of political power by the Banyuwangi Regency Government to place tourism as the main driver of economic growth has placed the Osing Community to stand out among the traditional livelihood systems in agriculture while on the other hand, they define themselves in tourism as adherence to the political power operated by the government. This finding is in line with [35] that argued over-embeddedness can have negative effects in the form of stagnation of innovation and creativity, nepotism, the vulnerability that is exploited by the domination of power and ignores economic rationality to the detriment of tourism community themselves.

3.4 Spatial embeddedness

Spatial embeddedness is defined as the embeddedness of rural tourism businesses in building social networks at local, regional, or national scales. The cultural potential of the Osing community then gained momentum when the Barong Ider Bumi ritual and the Tumpeng Sewu ritual became the calendar of events for the Banyuwangi Festival in 2013. These two events showed the fact that the Osing Community had multiple values of traditional rituals. First, collective rites continue to be carried out with their old traditions and secondly, collective rites were selectively modified and transformed into tourism economic activities. This situation illustrates the Osing Community was halfway into the market space called the tourism economy which was transactional and profit-oriented (monetization) but in their daily life they still carried out various traditional activities according to their culture and habits.

In the political dimension, the Osing Community relates to technocratic spaces for development with the Regional Government. The tourism policy became the work of power relations of the Banyuwangi Regency Government. Besides, the Osing Community experienced a dynamic sociocultural transformation, in their rural environment, and took advantage of the massive tourism economic gap that takes place without changing the dominant livelihood system in the village. It is in line with [36] mentioned that tourism becomes the complementary livelihood strategy rather than displacing existing activities. Further they mentioned that this situation could be partly explained as the result of the common situations in which communities and individuals sustained themselves by multiple activities rather than discrete job. For that reason, tourism not only develops the households’ economy but also helps rural labors acquire new skills, such as selling, driving, managing itinerary and doing promotion. However, the negative impact can be read from the attachment in the political context due to the nature of the political over-embeddedness in the relationship between the district government and the village government.

4. Conclusions

This study found several important findings, namely the complexity of the rationality of tourism activities as an economic activity carried out by local communities originating from the selective commodification of existing rites. In addition, this research also generates new insights into the complexity of the rationality of tourism activities in the Osing community which in the process emerges multiple embeddedness, such as relational and structural, institutional, political, and spatial embeddedness.

The multiple-embeddedness perspective in this article provides an important exemplar of the development of economic sociology by analyzing tourism as its main locus. Multiple embeddedness is a step forward in social embeddedness analysis for several reasons. First, multiple embeddedness allows understanding at three levels of analysis, namely microanalysis (relational embeddedness, spatial embeddedness), mezzo analysis (structural embeddedness, institutional embeddedness, political embeddedness), and macro analysis (structural embeddedness, institutional embeddedness, and political embeddedness). Thus, providing an answer to the weakness of classical embeddedness thinking which is considered too inclined at the micro level of analysis. Second, multiple embeddedness allows the analysis to be understood from the point of view of different social actors, thus it provides various perspectives of a phenomenon.

Moreover, multiple embeddedness allows the study of tourism, especially the sociology of tourism to be understood from various levels of social relations by showing the community's ability to build rationality and actions that are useful for personal and communal purposes. Besides, the knowledge on complexity and typology of embeddedness in rural tourism could be beneficial to highlight the work of tourism system, that to some extent it is known who take the major ration of power to manage all the activities. By doing so, the concordance of community members, local cultures and values, government and formal regulation could be realized that lead to sustainable tourism. In the study of economic sociology, the development of embeddedness theory that focuses on multiple contexts has provided awareness of context complexity. For the study of rural communities, this article has succeeded in showing the rational actions of actors and the capacity of rural communities to select, determine the direction of change, and adapt to the major changing forces of tourism that carry various interests and are loaded with the power of capital and state governance over entities in the countryside.

A limitation of this study is that one-shot observations and interviews. These data collection techniques might not cover the changes of social embeddedness process prior and following the research period. A further study could assess a cohort and a cross-sectional design to have comprehensive understanding on the embeddedness transformation during certain period. The designs will be also beneficial to compare and contrast different typology of tourism places.


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