Academic journal article Borneo Research Bulletin

Between the Local and the State: Practices and Discourses of Identity among the Kadazan of Sabah (East Malaysia), Ph.D. Dissertation, Loughborough University (UK)

Academic journal article Borneo Research Bulletin

Between the Local and the State: Practices and Discourses of Identity among the Kadazan of Sabah (East Malaysia), Ph.D. Dissertation, Loughborough University (UK)

Article excerpt

This thesis investigates the effects of the nation-building agenda carried out by the Malaysian state on the sense of collective belonging of the Kadazan people of the Bornean State of Sabah. The thesis includes a reconstruction of the formation of the two most important forms of collective identification, the nation and the ethnic group, and the analysis of the way in which Kadazan villagers identify themselves in relation to discourses circulating in various media and the practices in which they get involved in their everyday life. Kadazan villagers consistently show a rejection of the state propaganda and a general unwillingness to identify themselves as members of the Malaysian nation, which I attribute to their marginal position within the Malaysian state. They more often identify themselves as members of their ethnic group or village, collective forms of identification that seem to allow for a higher degree of participation in their definition than the national one. The empirical analysis of the everyday self-identification in relation to practices and discourses shows a complex picture, as Kadazan villagers differently situate themselves as Malaysian, Kadazan, Sabahan and members of their village on different occasions and contexts. …

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