Ethnic Riot Fragility between Bugeese-Macassarese and Chinese in Makassar Municipality, South Sulawesi

Title : Ethnic Riot Fragility between Bugeese-Macassarese and Chinese in Makassar Municipality, South Sulawesi
Author : Mustamin (CRCS, 2006)
Keywords : ethnicity, conflict, riot
The ethnically riotous incident of mass disorder in Makassar city which involved Bugeese-Macassarese and Chinese ethnicities commonly stemmed from a similar event, i.e. from a purely criminal event to a widely violent action. The ethnic violence is in fact a multidimensional accumulation of the problems ending up in an attack towards the Chinese ethnicity. Therefore, it is urgent to observe the phenomenon in order to give a broader understanding at the underlying factors of the conflict that it would reduce its occurrence in the future.

The thesis is a descriptive-analytical research on the problem above based on literary sources and interviews with some respondents from both Bugeese-Macassarese and Chinese ethnicities in Makassar city that it is possible to have a common picture of the conflict from their respective points of view. The fundamental questions asked during the interviews included political, economic, religious and socio-cultural dimensions which have potential to give rise to a conflict in the relations between Bugeese-Macassarese and Chinese ethnicities. The sociological approach used during the research consists of inter-ethnic relations in the areas of trade, political representation, and cross-cultural appreciation.

The research showed us that the ethnic violence was built upon structural conditions signified by the economic domination of the Chinese ethnicity which the Bugeese-Macassarese in Makassar city were incapable of copying with. On the other hand, the latter is dominant in the arena of politics which is very strategic for a public policy-making. The lack of a mass media which is able to be a melting pot for the two ethnicities is a fact behind the ethnic perceptions and prejudices. Moreover, some policies made by the government seem to strengthen and perpetuate their primordially ethnic symbols of identity and, in turn, help cause the potential violence itself. Based on the fact above, the research recommends a model of conflict prevention locally initiated through the establishment of cross-ethnic institutions.

This post is also available in: Indonesian


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