Socialization of Ethnic Identity and Its Consequence in the Form of Polarization Among Youth in Malaysia

The construction of ethnic identity has many consequences on ethnic relation. In the Malaysian youth context, the formation of ethnic identity through socialization has caused ethnic polarization. Researches proved that majority of Malaysian youths studying in public universities see ethnic as an important criteria in selecting roommate, assignment partner and even where to sit in the lecture hall. In view of the above circumstances, this paper intends to analyze the role of socialization in the forming of ethnic identity and its relationship with ethnic polarization among these youths. The intensity of ethnic polarization among them will be discussed by elaborating the findings of past researches related to the phenomenon. The role of nature in socialization will also be analyzed to ascertain the function nature plays in developing ethnic identity and ethnic polarization. This paper also discusses the role of nurture and the dialectic relationship of structural and action forces in creating ethnic identity which consequently may cause ethnic polarization.

Keywords: Ethnic Identity, Socialization, Ethnic Polarization, Ethnic Relation, Ethnocentrism

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