Broker's Position in Patronage Bonds as a Form of the Middle Class in Farming Communities in Rural South Sulawesi
As an important element driving the creation of a shift in the pattern of patronage bonding relationships in the current era, the broker's contribution to this shift lies in its dual role, namely as an intermediary between patrons and clients in patronage ties. This role has become increasingly visible since rural areas have been opened up by various interests and activities of farmers in accommodating social change in rural areas. This study aims to analyze the existence of brokers in patron-client ties in rural South Sulawesi, as well as the existence of the middle class behind the existence of a broker in this bond. This study uses a case study approach. The data were obtained through elaboration of in-depth interviews, participant observation and documentation. The results of the study show that the intensity of brokerage activities in vertical and horizontal positions is a form of the middle class in rural areas. In a vertical position, the role is as a comprador or intermediary for the interests of patrons and clients in business activities and political activities, while in horizontal ties, it is present in the activities of personal alliances and revessible relationships that mediate the interests of patrons and clients. In its position as an intermediary on both sides, it seems that the role of the broker is no longer considered as an unofficial or pseudo group but has become a demand for the needs of the community because its presence is a real manifestation of the existence of differentiation and social mobility in the countryside.