Journal of Social Sciences

Ethnicity and Ethnic Perception of Indians

Ravichandran Moorthy, Novel Lyndon, Er A. Choy, Sivapalan Selvadurai and Kartini A. Talib

DOI : 10.3844/jssp.2011.590.596

Journal of Social Sciences

Volume 7, Issue 4

Pages 590-596


Problem statement: The discourse of ethnicity, race dominance and Islamization has dominated Malaysian politics since 1957, after several centuries of colonial rule. Although the country has achieved admirable socio-economic progress, the ethnic Indians situation has somewhat remained backward compared to the Malay and Chinese communities. The objective of this article is to examine how ethnic Indians recognize their ethnic identity based on self perception of ethnic status and social upliftment and self assessment of the values of globalization that affect their thinking and opinions. Approach: The study employs a qualitative analysis of the data derived through open and close-ended questions posted on several social media forums (face book twitter and emails) frequented by ethnic Indians. Results: The findings reveal that there was increased dissatisfaction among ethnic Indians regarding the status of their ethnicity and aspects of their social upliftment within the Malaysian polity. The analysis on how they perceive the values of globalization shows increased appreciation of values such as human rights, cultural rights, human security, freedom and right for social upliftment, but at the same time the analysis illustrates high level of discontentment on the actual achievements of these values. Conclusion: Therefore this study concludes that the recent socioeconomic and value changes have influenced how ethnic Indian perceives their ethnicity in the context of a multiethnic mix. Future studies into Indian ethnicity may explore aspects such as the changing ethnic worldviews, affects of human mobility and social ethnic conflicts.


© 2011 Ravichandran Moorthy, Novel Lyndon, Er A. Choy, Sivapalan Selvadurai and Kartini A. Talib. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.