Cultural and Language Identity of the Thesaban Takbai Malay Ethnic, Southern Thailand: A Phenomenological Analysis

Novel Lyndon, Hasni Zakaria, A.M. Azima, Aznie C.R. Rosniza, M.S. Sarmila


The constructions of ethnic minority group identity are often overshadowed by the majority group. The main objective of this study is to understand the nature of language and cultural identity desired by the ethnic minority group. This study used the phenomenological research paradigm that focuses on understanding the Malay ethnic group of Southern Thailand in Thesaban Takbai, Narathiwat in respect of the formation of ethnic identity base on their world-view. The unit of analysis in this study consists of ten Malay ethnic individuals of Southern Thailand living in Thesaban Takbai, Narathiwat, Thailand. Ten informants consisting of five men and five women with the age ranging from 20 to 60 years old were selected based on the type of occupations and level of education to be interviewed in-depth in this study. The sample was selected using the non-probability sampling that is the purposive and snowball sampling. The findings show that the Malay ethnic of Thesaban Takbai in Southern Thailand still desire to maintain the Patani Malay culture in terms of clothing and name. The informants’ views towards the language identity show that they are very tolerant of the position of Thai Language as the National Language. The implications of this study is that the Thai government should take into consideration the interests of the minority groups and not to practice the integration policy in the form of top-down administrative through the assimilation approach that is considered as discriminating to the minority groups.

DOI: 10.5901/mjss.2015.v6n4s3p11

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Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences ISSN 2039-9340(Print) ISSN 2039-2117(Online)

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