Negotiating identity using Bicultural Identity Integration Model: The Bawean in Malay construct

Muhammad Ridhwan Sarifin, Mohamad Fauzi Sukimi, Azlina Abdullah


This article aims to show the negotiation process in constructing Bawean ethnic identities as part of Malay sub-ethnic in Malaysia. This study used the Bicultural Identity Integration Scale-2 (BIIS-2). In-depth interviews were used to achieve all of the objectives of this study. This article focused only on the outcome of bicultural identity integration, namely the level of ethnic identity trends and how Bawean negotiates with other Malay cultures. Five findings were identified. First, the results of the analysis revealed that the majority of informants see themselves as Malays due to their religion which is Islam where they know how to act as Malaysian citizens. Second, the majority of informants do not feel entrapped between Bawean and Malay culture because of the willingness of Bawean people to deal with cultural diversity. Third, there are many cultural similarities which make the majority of the informants feel they have no conflict about having two cultures. Fourth, it is surprising that the majority of informants have low self-Malay feelings because of the very strong bond within the ethnic group itself. Finally, the fact that there is a positive need for each other about culture explains why the majority of informants did not abandon Bawean culture for Malay culture. The results of this study showed that informants are able to respond to the development of nation-state processes in a national context. The identity of Bawean people which is one of the sub-ethnic categories in Malay is still at a good level and can be enhanced since they are believers of Islam which is compulsory for them to be categorised as Malay. This clearly shows their effort to integrate with Malay people.

Keywords: Bawean, bicultural identity integration model, constructive identity, ethnic tendency, Malay sub-ethnic


Bawean; bicultural identity integration model; constructive identity; ethnic tendency; Malay sub-ethnic

Full Text:



Al-Amril Othman Mohd Nor Shahizan Ali. (2018). Misinterpretation on Rumors towards Racial Conflict: A Review on the Impact of Rumors Spread during the Riot of May 13, 1969. Malaysian Journal of Communication, 34(3), 271-282.

Berry, J. W. (2003). Conceptual approaches to acculturation. In K. M. Chun, P. B. Organista, & G. Marín (Eds.), Acculturation: Advances In Theory, Measurement, & Applied Research (pp. 17-37). Washington, DC, American Psychological Association.

Buendia, R. G. (2007). The Politics of Ethnicity and Moro Secessionism in the Philippines. Working Paper No.146. November. Asia Research Center.

Choi, K. H., Tienda, M., Cobb-Clark, D., & Sinning, M. (2012). Immigration and Status Exchange in Australia and the United States. Research in social stratification and mobility, 30(1), 49–62.

Diana, O. (2005). American Identity, Citizenship, and Multiculturalism. Paper presented at the German-American Conference cosponsored by the Bundeszenrale fur politics Building and the Center for Civic Education, Freiburg, Germany. Retrieved from

Frideres, J. S. (2002). Immigrants, Integration, and the Intersection of Identities. Calgary, University of Calgary.

Huynh Que-Lam,. Nguyen, A. D., & Verónica Benet-Martínez. (2011). “Bicultural Identity Integration”. In Seth J. Schwartz, Luyckx Koen & Vignoles Vivian L. (Eds.). Handbook of Identity Theory and Research. Volume 2: Domains and Categories (pp.827-842). New York, Springer.

Huynh Que-Lam. (2009). Variations in biculturalism: Measurement, validity, mental and physical health/psycho-social correlates, and group differences of identity integration (PhD dissertation). Retrieved from University of California.

Inger, Furseth & Pål Repstad. (2006). An Introduction to the Sociology of Religion: Classical and Contemporary Perspective. England, Ashgate Publishing, Ltd.

Koleth, E. (2010). Multiculturalism: a review of Australian policy statements and recent debates in Australia and overseas. Research Paper no. 6. Social Policy Section. Retrieved from Library/pubs/rp/rp1011/11rp06

Layder, D. (1994). Understanding Social Theory. London: Sage.

Magaldi, D., & Berler, M. (2020) Semi-structured Interviews. In: Zeigler-Hill, V., Shackelford, T. K. (eds.) Encyclopedia of Personality and Individual Differences. Springer, Cham.

Mangum, M., & Block, Ray Jr. 2018. Social Identity Theory and Public Opinion towards Immigration. Social Sciences, 7(41), 1-16.

Martínez Benet, V., & Haritatos, J. (2005). Bicultural identity integration (BII): Components and psychosocial antecedents. Journal of Personality, (73), 1015–1050.

Martínez Benet, V., Leu, J., Lee, F., & Morris, M. (2002). Negotiating biculturalism: Cultural frame switching in biculturals with oppositional versus compatible cultural identities. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, (33), 492–516.

Media Bawean Portal. (2011). Kuat Pegang Adat Istiadat. Retrieved from [23th January 2016].

Mohamad Fauzi Sukimi. (2016). Identity Construction in Malaysia. Presented at Nation-Sate Workshop. 18 September. Unpublished. Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia.

Mohamad Fauzi Sukimi & Muhammad Ridhwan Sarifin. (2014). Negara, undang-undang dan tenaga kerja asing: Antara ideal dan realiti di Malaysia. Geografia-Malaysian Journal of Society and Space, 10(1), 101–109.

Mohamad Fauzi Sukimi & Muhammad Ridhwan Sarifin. (2014). Negara, Undang-undang dan Tenaga Kerja: Antara Ideal dan Realiti di Indonesia. Geografia-Malaysian Journal of Society and Space, 10(6), 156-169.

Mohamed Mustafa Ishak. (2014). Politik Bangsa Malaysia: Pembinaan Bangsa dalam Masyarakat Pelbagai Etnik. Kuala Lumpur, Institut terjemahan & Buku Malaysia dan Universiti Utara Malaysia.

Muhammad Ridhwan Sarifin & Mohamad Fauzi Sukimi. (2018). Budaya dan Identiti dalam kalangan Orang Bawean Malaysia. In Rahimah Abdul Aziz, Mohamad Fauzi Sukimi & Nur Hafizah Yusof (Eds.) MALAYSIA: Pembangunan Negara & Kerencaman Isu Sosial (pp. 212-235). Bangi, Penerbit Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia.

Muhammad Ridhwan Sarifin & Mohamad Fauzi Sukimi. (2016). Serupa tapi berbeza: Kajian kes komuniti Bawean Kampung Sungai Tiram, Johor Malaysia. Geografia-Malaysian Journal of Society and Space, 12(5), 1–10.

Muhammad Ridhwan Sarifin. (2018). Integrasi Identiti Dwibudaya orang Bawean di Sungai Tiram, Johor. (PhD dissertation). Retrieved from Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia.

Muhammad Ridhwan Sarifin, Mohamad Fauzi Sukimi & Azlina Abdullah. (2018). Integrasi orang Bawean dalam penggunaan bahasa ke arah membina bangsa Malaysia. e-Bangi, 13(3), 133-144.

Nguyen, A. M. D., Huynh, Q. -L., & Benet-Martínez, V. (2009). Bicultural identities in a diverse world. In J. L.Chin, (Eds.), Diversity in mind and in action Westport, Volume 1 (pp.17-31). California State, Praeger.

Nidzam Sulaiman. 2018. Pemikiran Sosial. Kuala Lumpur, Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka.

Othman Lebar. (2015). Qualitative Research: An Introduction to Theory and Methods. (2nd ed.). Tanjung Malim, Sultan Idris University of Education Press.

Padilla, A. M. (1994). Bicultural development: A theoretical and empirical examination. In R. Malgady & O. Rodriguez (Eds.), Theoretical and conceptual issues in Hispanic mental health (pp 20-52), Melbourne, Krieger.

Rashidi, N. & Meihami, H. (2019). The role of negotiation about cultural issues on the ESP teachers’ cultural identity development: A narrative inquiry. XLinguae, 12(2), 111-129.

Renshaw, L. (2019). A Positive Sense of Identity and Culture. Australian Research Alliance for Children and Youth. Canberra. Retrieved from [24 February 2020].

Seidman, I. (2006). Interviewingas a qualitatif research: A guide for researcher in education and the social sciences. New York, Teacher College Press.

Shamsul Amri Baharuddin. (2008). Ethnic relations in Malaysia: Finding and maintaining clarity in turmoil. Background Paper presented at the National Unity Advisory Council Meeting, organized by JPNIN, 18th October. Kota Kinabalu, Sabah.

Shamsul Amri Baharuddin. (2012). Modul Hubungan Etnik. (Edisi Kedua). Bangi, Institut Kajian Etnik. Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia.

Smith, Anthony D. (1991). National Identity. United State of America, University of Nevada Press.

Stets, Jan E. & Burke, Peter J. (2000). Identity Theory and Social Identity Theory. Social Psychology Quarterly, 63(3), 224-237.

Thanet Aphornsuvan. (2003). History and Politics of the Muslims in Thailand. Thammasat University.

The Asia Foundation. (2017). The State of Conflict and Violence in Asia. Retrieved from [1st January 2018]

Ward, C. (2008). Thinking outside the Berry boxes. New Perspectives on identity, acculturation and intercultural relations. International Journal of Intercultural Relation, (32), 105-114.


  • There are currently no refbacks.