Bakauheni constitutes a sub-district located in South Lampung, Indonesia. It is inhabited by diverse ethnic groups: Lampung, Sunda, Java, Batak, and Bugis. Their different cultural backgrounds often result in different perceptions among them. Therefore, this study aimed to explore perceptions by the ethnic groups living in the region.The current study was qualitative. An interview was undertaken in depth to investigate ethnic groups’ perceptions. The data were analyzed using BIPLOT. The result of the current study showed that there were two main categories of perceptions among the ethnic groups living in Bakauheni: soft-hearted and hard-hearted perception. This suggests that communication inter-ethnic is important for attaining the harmony of social life.
Keywords: Communication, Perceptions, Inter-Ethnic Groups, South Lampung Indonesia
Multicultural societies are expected to have different perceptions of different ethnic groups in their community. They often perceive other ethnic groups according to their cultural perspectives or backgrounds. Rich (1974:4-6), Samovar and Porter (1981:34-35), and Mulyana (2001:168) state that the differences of religions, values, attitudes, mindsets, social organisations, characteristics, activity orientations, the concept of ourselves and other people will necessarily influence perceptions. Fisher (1994:57-60) points out that factors of experience, social cultures, gender, religions, levels of education, occupations, social status, and physchological aspects such as, motivation, expectation, emotion, affect social perceptions of human. Moreover, Moss, and Tubb (2001:56),and Rich (1974:34) state that perception is often influenced by prejudice.
Lubis (1988:319) concludes that communication among intra-ethnic groups is more effective than communication of inter-ethnic groups. It happens because intra-ethnic groups believe that their perception is better than those of inter-ethnic groups.
The study of perceptions and prejudice in Indonesia by Karomani (2010:353) concludes that knowledge aspects, experience, and many other aspects of social cultures such as, beliefs, values, concepts of life, religions, and local customs significantly led to perceptions and prejudice of stereotypes as well as their attitudes of communication among elites in south Banten, Indonesia.This study is similar to that by Wang, S. H. Y., & Chang, H. C., (1999). That is, professional workers in USA and China are different in their ways of interpersonal communication due to their different cultural views among them. The different view affects atmospheres in their job place. The professional workers from China who work in American companies usually communicate indirectly, related to this case, they talk other things out of the aim they intend to communicate, instead of directly talking about the main point of communication. On the other hand, the professional workers from USA tend to communicate directly. Moreover, Kartika (2016) points out that perception also influence personal attitudes or community in Indonesia.The effect of cultural aspects on perceptions and communication is also found in the study by Pearson, Semlak, Western, and Herakova, (2010). According to the findings of their study, the perception of ethnic identity and communication schemata in the family significantly contributed to perceptions and communication attitudes of others. Next, the problem of inter-ethnic communication always develops based on the development of its social culture itself. It changes become identity, communication, perceptions such as, the perception of sexual orientation, gender identity, and expression (SOGIE) Langlois, A. J., Wilkinson, C., Gerber, P., & Offord, B. (2017).
The investigation of communication aspects with respect to perceptions and prejudice of inter-ethnic stereotypes and communication as the result of belonging to different cultures is important to undertake. This study intends to provide information on the perceptions of inter-ethnic groups, which in turn may prevent them from having conflicts among each other, such as conflicts happen among ethnic groups like in Kalimantan, Indonesia (Sillander, K., & Alexander, J., 2016), and in Iran (Mohammadzadeh, H., 2016).
The region of Bakauheni, in south Lampung constitutes a harbour where multiethnic groups live such as, Sunda, Java, Bugis, Lampung, and Batak. As stated by public servant in Bakauheni (Interview,2016), the region comprises of diverse ethnic groups: Lampung (28%), Java (50%), Batak (5%), Sunda (10%), and Bugis (3%) and other ethnic groups (4%).There are some 10,076 people with 2116 families living in Bakauheni. Their levels of education are regarded as still being low. Most of them (65%) graduated from elementary schools, some (26 %) finished their junior high school, and the rest (9 %) are graduates of senior high schools. They predominantly work as farmers (57%), and others work in other sectors as farm-workers (26%), other work sectors, i.e., government employees, fisherman, and merchants, each 4%. The rest of them (5%) have occupations as mechanic operators, drivers, etc. The majority of the inhabitants are Moslem (85%), followed by Christian (10%), and Hinduse and Budhist (5%), respectively.
Bakauheni constitutes a sub-district in the south tip of Lampung province in which a harbor is located. It has a strategic role as a gate for people where Sumatra and Java islands share borders. The museum provides information on every single aspect of lives of Lampung province comprising of 10 districts or regions. This study aims to explore perceptions of inter-ethnic groups in Bakauheni, south Lampung, Indonesia.
This research is based on phenomology and constructive theories. It sees that ethnic identities, prejudice, and perceptions are historical products. The senses serve to guide our actions in order to secure our survival. Perceptions and action are directed to objects in a space, the principle we should not let fade from sight (Wade, 2005:204). Gamble (2005:85) states that “perception as the process of selecting, organizing, and subjectively interpreting , sensory data in a way that enables us to make sense of our world. In phenomology, perceptions are regarded as the main source of knowlegde, a source which can not be rejected (Moustakas 1994: 52). Based on perspectives from constructivism theory, perceptions, prejudice, ethnic identities are products which are created through the process of socialisation and acculturation (Green, D. P., and. Seher, R. L. 2003:521). According to the phenomelogist, Alfrted Schutz, (1976a:12), perceptions are identified by an actor specifically referring to the motive of another actor. Schutz classifies motives into two types, in-order to motives and because motives.The first motives are related to purpose, planning, expectation, willingness, and others which are wanted by the actor because they have future orientation. In other words, the second motives are related to the experience of actors in the past and they are strongly formed in preconstituted knowledge, and it is oriented to the past.
Schutz also states that in showing the meaning of an object, a situation, and an attitude to ourselves, typication is used that is related to motiv (Schutz, and Luckmann, 1973: 329). It comes from the stock of individual knowledge that consists of all of an image, knowledge, ideas, and attitudes that are used for constructing meaning. (Denzin and Lincoln, 1998: 138 ). Furthermore, Miller, (2002:50) states that “These typications are interpretive constructs that vary based on an individual’s biography, his or her cultural group, and the specific social context under consideration“ (It is determined by many of purposes, business, planning, expectation, that are followed by individual, which are globally determined on the basis of biographically determined situation. It is total of human experiences of the past that is organised by having stock of knowledge which becomes habit. According to Schutz, a comprehension of meaning about perception, utterance, and human action are intersubjective, which involve situation, typication and motiv (Shutz, 1973:10).
Completing what Schutz states above, human perceptions or social perceptions are different depending on factors of experience, selectivity, prejudice, evaluative, and contextual factors (Fisher,1994: 57-60; Rakhmat, 2000:89-93). Someone’s perception depends on experience. It can be seen from the way people work, way people eat, and the way people measure beauty of someone, etc. All of them depend on experience at the past that they had. In this case, different experience results in different interpretation. According to Tubss and Moss (2000:37), everyone has her/his own interpretation depending on her/his experience in the past.
Figure 1: Phenomenologi Alpfred Shutz (Shutz, 1973:10)
Qualitative approaches are used to describe and understand the phenomena that have become the focus of the current study. They include a naturalistic inquiry, which treats human beings as instrument of the research driven by a naturalistic approach. This approach, as a research procedure, produces descriptive data in the form of words written or spoken by people and observed behaviors. As described by Creswell (2002:4) a researcher builds a complex and holistic picture, analyzes words, reports detailed views of informants, and all these were implemented through the natural way.
The research approach in the current study is also based on interpretive, phenomenological, and it is naturalistic. It is more focused on the natural phenomena that occur in the field that may not be measured and manipulated especially in terms of black and white, but rather, it examines the meaning, motives, background, rationality, and interrelationships. The procedure of the research is essentially done by making a description (metaphorically) (Creswell, 2002:) and verstehen (understanding and meaning to social phenomena)
The research stated is intended for doing description, verstehen, and comprehension to social phenomena (Moleong, 1996:27, Creswell, 2002:136; 1997;14;,Alwasilah, 2003:108).On the other hand, this research describes interethnic phenomena comprehensively.
The data of this research were collected from 10 participants for each group (Bugis, Batak, Sunda, Java and Lampung) and there were 50 participants in total. Interviews consisting of 14 questions as informed by Schweizer (2000:227) were used to collect the main data of the current study. In collecting the data from informants, observation of informants’ behaviors were also undertaken. In addition, deep interviews were also conducted. Furthermore, the work is supported by secondary data from literature materials to help the researcher address the research question. Three steps or procedures in this data collection mutually supported each other. The steps are in accordance with the principle of triangulation in qualitative research techniques.
In data collection activities, the researcher refers to the procedure as suggested by Creswell (1988:109-35) called "A data collection circle" as outlined below:
Figure 2: A Data Collection Circle. Source: Creswell, 1988:110
The circle model of data collection shown in Figure 1 above indicates the steps that support each other. Creswell suggests that researchers start their activities on the determination of the place or the individual (Locating site or an individual).
Methods of Data Analysis
The qualitative data in this study was taken in the form of a statement, symptoms, non-verbal actions which were recorded by description or pictures. Then, there were three grooves in the activity of data analysis that can be performed simultaneously, namely data reduction, data display, and drawing conclusion or verification.
Data reduction is a process of selecting, focusing on simplification. The data which do not fit the data was discarded,or reduced complexity of the data is excluded in favor of an explanation immediately raised). Reduction is abstraction and transformation of raw data that appears in the written records of the field. Qualitative data were simplified and transformed in many ways such as rigorous selection, summary or a brief description, and classification in a wider pattern.
The presentation of data is related to the composition of a set of information that allows drawing conclusions and taking actions. In this case, the researchers tried to use a matrix of texts, graphs, and charts on the network side of the narrative text. Qualitative data analysis begins with the investigation for the meaning of objects, non-regularities, patterns, explanations, possible configurations, causal flow and propositions. The researcher takes an unrestricted conclusion and open minded process, but then leads to more detailed.
Conclusions made in this study are verified during the research process. Verification in the form of a review or re-think on the field notes was done carefully and it took a long time as exchanging ideas back to the informants to develop inter-subjective agreement if it is found uncertainty related to taking conclusions. Validity testing is done to meanings that emerge from the data. Validity is the truth and honesty of a description, conclusion explanations, commentaries and all kinds of reports (Alwasilah, 2003:169).the data of the current study were analyzed using BIPLOT data analysis (Jollife, 2002:901-101).
Perceptions of other ethnic groups by Lampung: Bugis, Batak, Sunda and Java ethnic groups were shown in Table 1 below:
Table 1: Perceptions of Bugis, Batak, Sunda, and Java Ethnic Groups by Lampung Ethnic Group
|Humble||30 %||10 %||80 %||90 %|
|Tolerant||40 %||30 %||70%||80%|
|Honest||70 %||30 %||50 %||70 %|
|Soft-hearted||30 %||0 %||90 %||100 %|
|Wise||60 %||10 %||50 %||70 %|
|Smart||60 %||80 %||60 %||60 %|
|Generous||50 %||50 %||50 %||60 %|
|Modern||60 %||60 %||60 %||50 %|
|Simple||40 %||30 %||60 %||70 %|
|Diligent||70 %||80 %||40 %||80 %|
|Relegious||70 %||40 %||70 %||50 %|
|Open-Minded||30 %||60 %||60 %||70 %|
|Forgiving||40 %||90 %||80 %||80 %|
Source: Result of data processing in 2016
Table 1 shows that the majority of respondents of Lampung ethnic groups (70%) perceived Bugis ethnic groups as brave, honest, diligent, and religious. Moreover, 60 % of them regarded Bugis ethnic groups as wise, smart or educated, and modern enough, in the sense that they are not really stricted to follow their customs (traditional ways of life). Almost all of Lampung ethnic groups (90%) believe that Batak people are forgiveful. They are also in agreement that Batak people are brave, honest, smart or educated people, and hard-workers (80%). Moreover, the respondents (60%) regarded Batak people as modern, that is, they do not stick really strictly to their cultural rules. Batak people are also open-minded, in the sense that they commonly live in harmony with other people or ethnic groups.
Unlike Lampung ethnic perceptions of both Bugis and Batak ethnic groups, the majority of them (90%) considered Sunda ethnic groups as soft-hearted particularly as reflected in the way they speak and they behave. They also believe that Sunda ethnic groups are humble. That is, they are not arrogant and are forgiveful (80%). Sunda ethnic groups are known as religious, in that, they strictly follow religious teachings particularly moslem, and they are also tolerant of other people. In addition, Sudanese was perceived by Lampung ethnic groups (60%) as being smart or relatively educated, simple, open-minded, not exclusive, and modern, meaning that they do not strictly obey their cultural rules.
Interestingly, all of Lampung ethnic respondents (100%) have perceptions that Java ethnic groups (Javanese) are soft-hearted in the way they speak and they behave. They (90%) also perceived that Javanese are down to earth, meaning that they are not arrogant. The respondents (80%) are also confident that Javanese are tolerant, wise, forgiveful, and hard-workers. Moreover, Javanese are regarded by 70% of respondents as being simple, honest, and open-minded in addition to smart, educated, and generous.
The findings of the current study regarding the perception by Lampung ethnic groups of Bugis ethnic groups, regarded as brave people and hard-hearted workers, is in line with the findings by Schweizer (2000:218). Similarly, the perception by Lampung ethnic groups of Javanese i.e., soft-hearted, humble, and kind, supports the study by Scheweizer (2008:218). According to him, Javanese personalities adhere to their life principles, that is, to be the winner does not necessarily humiliate other people, or we need to respect others, regardless of their backgrounds (wani ngalah dhuwur wekasane atau kudu andap asor). Based on the Biplot analysis, the results of the study as shown in Table 1 take the form of Figure 3 as below.
Figure 3: Biplot Perceptions of Bugis, Batak, Sunda and Java Ethnic Respondents by Lampung Ethnic Groups
According to perceptions of Lampung ethnic groups, as shown in Figure 3, both Sunda and Java ethnic groups have similar characteristics or stereotypes in common. They are categorized as soft-hearted, humble, simple, and tolerant. Batak and Bugis ethnic groups have the same characteristics in terms of brave, diligent, and modern. According the respondents, Bugis, Batak, Sunda, and Java ethnic groups have similar characteristics in common, i.e., soft-hearted, humble, simple, generous, religious
Perceptions of the characteristics of other ethnic groups by Batak ethnic groups: Bugis, Sunda, Java, and Lampung can be seen in Table 2 below:
Table 2: Perceptions of Bugis, Sunda, Java, and Lampung Ethnic Groups by Batak Ethnic Groups
Source: Data 2016
Table 2 above shows that all of Batak ethnic respondents (100%) perceived Bugis people are brave, keep their principle well, or take their life risk. According to Batak ethnic groups, the brave character of Bugis people as fishermen has long been known because of their braveness of sailing the sea. Bugis ethnic groups were also perceived by Batak respondents as tolerant (80%), honest, wise, religious, and modern (70%), and smart or educated people, hard-hearted workers, open-minded, and forgiveful (60%).
Batak and Lampung ethnic respondents have similar perceptions of Sunda ethnic groups in common. All Batak ethnic respondents (100%) stated that Sundanese, particularly those coming from Sunda priangan, are tolerant. They speak soft-heartedly and behave politely. It is easy for them to forgive others. Sundanese are also perceived as humble, religious, honest, and modern, in the sense that they are not strictly bounded by their traditional ways of living (80%). Some of the respondents (60%) also believed that Sundanese are wise, smart, and generous.
All of Batak ethnic respondents (100%) perceived Javanese as humble, tolerant, and forgiving. Java ethnic groups are also believed by 90% respondents as honest, generous, open-minded, easygoing, religious. Batak ethnic respondents (80%) have perceptions that Javanese are hard-workers and modern in the sense that they do not strictly adhere to their cultural rules. Some respondents (60%) also stated that Javanese are smart and educated or cultured.
All of Batak ethnic respondents (100%) perceived that Lampung ethnic groups are brave, in the sense that they speak and they strictly keep their principles of life which sometimes contradict life principles of other ethnic groups. Lampung ethnic groups were also perceived as religious, simple, forgiving, smart, and honest. A few respondents (50%) regarded Lampung ethnic groups as modern for they do not strictly adhere rules of their cultures.
Perceptions regarding a brave characteristic of Bugis people by both Batak and Java ethnic respondents were in line with the findings by Schweizer (2000:218). Furthermore, the soft-hearted characteristics of Bugis people as perceived by Batak respondents supports this study. Batak ethnic perceptions about the soft-hearted characteristic of Java ethnic is linear with result of his study.The perception of Batak ethnic groups about the characteristics of Sunda ethnic groups that they are soft-hearted, low profile, humble is linear with study of Schweizer. It is also related to the wise principle of Javanese kudu andap asor which means that Javanese must be low profile (Amrih, 2008:94). Based on the biplot analysis, the results of study as shown in figure 2.
Figure 4: Biplot Analysis of Perceptions of Bugis, Lampung, Sunda and Java Ethnic groups by Batak Ethnic Groups
Figure 4 showed that Batak ethnic groups perceived that both Sunda and Java ethnic groups have the same characteristics in common:
,soft-hearted, humble, low profile, and generous. They claimed that both Lampung and Bugis were characterized as brave. The four ethnic groups were also perceived as soft-hearted, generous, religious, and honest. However, Batak ethnic respondents differ in their perceptions in terms of soft-hearted characteristics of the four ethnic groups: Lampung, Bugis, Sunda, and Java.
Perceptions of the four ethnic groups (Bugis, Lampung, Batak, and Java) by Sunda respondents is shown in Table 3 below:
Table 3: Perceptions of The Four Ethnic Groups: Java, Lampung, Bugis, and Batak by Sunda Ethnic Respondents
Source: Data taken in 2016
Table 3 above shows that all Sunda ethnic respondents (100%) perceived that Bugis ethnics are honest, smart, or educated, hard-hearted-workinghard-hearted, religious, and brave. Bugis ethnic groups have long been well known as fishermen
taking life-risks such as, sailing the sea. They also keep their prestidge when they are of opinion that they are in the right position. Moreover, they talk truthfully. Bugis people welcome people from other ethnic groups as they are generous. Similarly, Sunda ethnic respondents also perceived Batak people as brave in the sense that they strictly (100%) keep their life principles and they talk truthfully although they differ in their opinion from others. Batak ethnic groups were also perceived as smart or educated, generous, forgiving, religious (90%), hard working (80%).Meanwhile, Bugis ethnic groups, they also welcome other ethnic groups in their community hard-hearted. Some respondents (70%) stated that Batak ethnic groups as modern in that they do not strictly adhere rules with respect to their cultures.
Like perceptions of Batak and Bugis ethnic groups, Sunda ethnic respondents (100%) had perceptions that Java ethnic groups are brave , low profile, tolerant, honest, soft-hearted in the way they communicate with others, wise, smart or educated, simple, hard-working. They (90%) perceived Javanese as open-minded. That is, that they welcome other ethnic groups to live in harmony with them and to discuss a number of issues of lives in their community. Javanese were also regarded as modern, that is, they do not strictly adhere to the rules of their cultures. Moreover, some 70 percent of the respondents stated that Javanese were forgiving and generous.
Like with the other ethnic groups, all of Sunda ethnic respondents (100%) perceived that Lampung ethnic groups strictly keep their prestidge and commit their life principles. They also talk truthfully although they are not in agreement with their opinion from others. Lampung inhabitants also welcome other ethnic groups to live in harmony with them. They are smart enough or educated, as well as religious.
The characteristics of Batak and Java ethnic groups regarded as brave are in line with the findings by Schweizer (2000:218). The perception of Batak ethnic groups as hard-workers supports the finding of the study of ethnic groups by Simanjuntak (2009: 142). According to Simanjuntak, Batak ethnic groups highly value wealth (hamoraon), their ancestry (hagabeon), and their honor or dignity (hasangapon). Wealth is commonly attained by working hard.
The characteristic of Java ethnic groups, predominantly perceived as soft-hearted by Sunda ethnic respondents, indicates that Javanese keep being low profile in their life styles (Amrih,2008:94). That Bugis and Batak people have brave charateristics in common support the finding of Schweizer (2000: 218) as shown in Figure 5.
Figure 5: Biplot Perceptions of Bugis, Lampung, Batak,and Java Ethnic Groups by Sunda Ethnic Respondents
Figure 5 shows that Java ethnic groups were regarded as being soft-hearted, simple, low-profile, tolerant, and wise. Lampung, Bugis, and Batak have similar characteristics in common, i.e., brave, religious, generous, and open-minded. This suggests that Java ethnic groups differ in terms of soft-hearted characteristic from the other three ethnic groups, i.e., Lampung, Batak, and Bugis.
Perceptions ofet Batak, Sunda, Java,and Lampung ethnic groups by Bugis ethnic respondents are shown in Table 4 below :
Table 4: Perceptions of Batak, Sunda, Java and Lampung Ethnic Groups by Bugis ethnic Respondents
Source: Result of data in 2016
Table 4 shows that Bugis ethnic respondens (100%) perceived that Batak ethnic groups are brave, in the sense that they strictly keep their pride and they also talk truthfully. Moreover, Batak ethnic groups were regarded as smart or educated, hard-hearted,- religious, and open-minded, tolerant, wise, forgiving, honest, and simple. They welcome other ethnic groups as a part of the community.
Similarly, Bugis ethnic repsondents stated that Sundanese are honest, soft-hearted, and smart or educated, simple, religious, tolerant, wise, generous, and open-minded, hard-hearted and humble. Sundanese strictly adhere their religious rules. Like Bataknese, they keep their promise and their pride. They also welcome other ethnic groups to live as a part of their community.
Like Batak and Sunda ethnic groups, Java ethnic groups were perceived by Bugis ethnic respondents as humble, tolerant, honest, soft-hearted in their communication, wise, smart or educated, simple, hard-hearted working, and religious. Javanese were also regarded as open-minded. That is, they cooperate and welcome other people from different ethnic groups. Furthermore, they are generous, forgiving. They are brave in taking life risks and they strictly keep their life princiles.
Like other ethnic groups, Lampung people were perceived by Bugis ethnic respondents as brave in the sense that they keep their pride and promise. Lampung people are also religious, strictly commiting religious rules. They also strictly adhere to their life principles, the so-called piil pesenggiri,refering to their strong characters of being proud of their anchestry, personal honors, and prestidge (Nurdin, 2009:44). Moreover, Lampung people are known as smart or educated, generous, and open-minded, wise, and forgiving. Like other ethnic groups. They also welcome other ethnic groups to live in harmony in the community. The characteristics of Lampung people are shown in Figure 6 below.
Figure 6: Biplot Analysis of Batak, Lampung, Sunda dan Java Ethnic Groups by Bugis Respondents
Figure 6 showed that in the one hand, Java and Sunda ethnic groups have similar stereotypes in common in terms of: soft-hearted, simple, low profile, tolerant, and honest. On the other hand, Lampung and Batak ethnic groups have similar characteristics in terms of brave, religious, and generous. However, this does not necessarily mean that every single ethnic group indicates totally different stereotypes of each other.
The results of four ethnic groups: Bugis, Batak, Sunda, and Lampung by Java ethnic repsondents are shown in Table 5 below.
Table 5: Perceptions of Bugis, Batak, Sunda, and Lampung Ethnic Groups by Java Ethnic Respondents
Source: data result in 2016
Table 5 shows that all respondents (100%) perceived Bugis ethnic groups as brave fishermen who struggle for their lives. They are strict in keeping their promise and principles of life. Java and Batak perceptions of Bugis ethnic groups as brave support the findings of the study by Schweizer as cited in Mulyana (2000:218). The majority of the respondents (80%) perceived that Bugis people were hard-working, religious, wise, smart or educated, and forgiving. Some of the respondents also believed that Bugis ethnic groups are modern in the sense that they not only adhere their cultural rules but also adopt cultures of other ethnic groups.
Like with Bugis ethnic groups, all Javanese respondents (100%) perceived that Batak ethnic groups are brave, honest, smart or educated, forgivefull, open-minded, and tolerant in that they welcome ethnic groups other than Batak ethnic groups to live in harmony. Batak people are also regarded as being wise, and modern, that is, they do not strictly adhere their cultural rules. They are also hard-workers. However, only 50% of respondents regarded Batak people as being religious.
All of Javanese respondents (100%) had perceptions that Sundanese are low-profile, tolerant, smart or educated enough, wise, and forgiving. Sundanese are also well-recognized as religious. That is, they strictly adhere religious rules in particular Islamic teaching. Many of the respondents (80%) also regarded Sundanese as being soft-hearted in communicating, and open-minded. Sundanese are also hard-workers and they keep their prestige and principles of life. Some respondents (60%) had the perception that Sundanese are generous and simple in their life, but they are modern in the sense that they not only adhere thier cultural rules but they also practice cultural rules of other ethnic groups.
Regarding Lampung ethnic groups, almost all of Javanese respondents (90 %) stated that Lampung ethnic groups are persistent in keeping their honor and their life principles. They often directly talk to the point and this sometimes contradicts life principles of other ethnic groups. The majority of the respondents believed that Lampung ethnic are religious, smart, and relatively educated. Lampung people are also regarded as being modern in the sense that they also adopt cultural rules other than their cultures. The respondents (50%) perceived that Lampung people were honest and wise. The analysis of Bilpot with respect to perceptions of four ethnic groups: Lampung, Bugis, Batak, and Sunda by Javanese respondents is shown in Figure 5 below.
Figure 7: Biplot Analysis of Perceptions of Bugis, Lampung, Sunda and Batak Ethnic Groups by Java Ethnic Respondents
Figure 7 shows that people from Sunda ethnic groups were characterized as soft-hearted, simple, low profile, tolerant, and honest. Lampung, Bugis, and Batak ethnic groups have similar characteristics in common i.e., brave and religious. In the one hand, perceptions of Lampung, Sunda, Batak, and Bugis ethnic groups in terms of forgiving and low-profile stereotypes, varied significantly. On the other hand, the four ethnic groups have the same characteristics in common, i.e., tolerant, low profile, honest, and smart.
The findings of the current study with respect to perceptions of ethnic groups living in Bakauheni, south Lampung regency are in agreement with those of previous studies, indicating that someone’s perception is influenced by respondents’ experience (Shultz, 1981; Fisher, 1994; Mulayana & Rakhmat, 2000; Samover & Porter, 1981). Aspects of respondents’ experience e.g., having friends and making a close relationship with friends also results in different perceptions of inter-ethnic stereotypes or characters. For example, a respondent from a certain ethnic group who has a close relationship with someone from other ethnic group, they will have positive perceptions between them. In contrast, respondents tended to have negative perceptions of other ethnic groups when they have no good experience and a close relationship among them. The findings support those of the previous studies (Moss & Tubbs, 2001; Rich,1974). The findings of the study suggest that inter-ethnic communication needs to be intensively made so that they have positive perceptions which in turn facilitate inter-ethnic groups to live in harmony.
A close relationship among inter-ethnic groups can be built through a number of ways, e.g., occupation, organisation, family relationship or across marriage, etc. For instance, a Bugis respondent whose wife is from Sunda ethnic groups will necessarily have positive perception of Sundanese. Another case, a Batak respondent whose wife is from the Javanese ethnic group perceives that Javanese are wise in the sense that they speak the truth. Similarly, Javanese and Sundanese who have a close relationship with Batak ethnic groups, they will necessary perceive that Batak people are soft-hearted instead of being ‘hard-hearted’. This suggests that different perceptions are due mainly to different framing among them. It is also possible that individual stock of knowledge and different experience affect perceptions of stereotypes or characters among them. Biographically, their different perceptions of ethnic groups can be determined by their experience and knowledge of ethnic groups.
Moreover, perceptions of inter-ethnic groups are much influenced by a good relationship and experience particularly related to degrees of respondents’ education. The higher level of education the respondent has, the better perceptions of other ethnic groups they will have. Interestingly, it was also found out that the respondents with senior high school or higher educational backgrounds perceived other ethnic groups on the basis of her or his personality rather than his or her own ethnic groups. However, respondents who have low levels of education have not enough experience to make a good or close relationship with other ethnic groups, which in turn leads to negative perceptions of ethnic groups.The findings of the current study support those of previous studies (Samovar dan Porter,1981; Mulyana, 2001). That is to say those cultural aspects with respect to social status and religion significantly influence perceptions of inter-ethnic groups. A respondent from a low economic status regards an individual from other ethnic groups as not being smart. In addition, a respondent whose religion prohibits followers from drinking alcohol have negative perceptions of other ethnic groups who allow their members to drink alcohol. This indicates that different belief among ethnic groups may lead to negative perceptions. Perceptions of inter-ethnic groups are also influenced by personal reasons. For example, a respondents necessary have positive perceptions of the ethnic group with which he or she has a special impression or experience in spite the fact that the ethnic group is commonly regarded as being negative. According to Schutz (1976a:12), someone perception is due mainly to past experience, the so-called motives. It has tended to experience at past and became preconstituted knowledge.According to Green and Seher (2003), perceptions of inter-etnic groups support constructivist theory which regards perceptions of inter-ethnic groups as a product which is born through the process of socialisation and acculturation.
The ethnic groups living in Bakauheni, south Lampung regency, Indonesia: Lampung, Java, Sunda, Batak, and Bugis, have similar characteristics in common, i.e., smart, low profile, tolerant, honest, hard-working, wise, smart or cultured, simple, open-minded, generous, and forgiving. However, they have slightly different perceptions of other ethnic groups. On the one side, Java and Sunda ethnic groups are perceived as being soft-hearted, in their communication or behavior, low profile, and simple. On the other side, Lampung, Batak, and Bugis are regarded as being brave in the sense that they strictly preserve their prestige.
Perceptions of inter-ethnic groups: Sunda, Java, Lampung, Bugis, and Batak in Bakauheni, South Lampung Indonesia, have been affected by a number of factors among others: the experience aspects, i.e., a close relationship due to past orientation (because motive), social cultural aspects, i.e., religion, levels of education, occupation, and social status. It is in line with some studies from experts such as Rich (1974:4-6), Samovar and Porter (1981:34-35), Mulyana (2001:168) Fisher (1994:57-60) and Karomani (2010:353). This suggests that perceptions of different ethnic groups need to be taken into account as the basis of maintaining interaction among ethnic groups, which in turn, enable them to live in harmony.
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We would like to thank all the respondents who have contributed to this research.
Dr. Tina Kartika: Lecturer in the Department Communication, Faculty of Social and Political Sciences, University Of Lampung INDONESIA. Lecturer in some subjects, among others: Cross-Cultural Communication, Ethics and Philosophy of Communication, Logic, Public Relations Management, Media and Culture, Philosophy of science . Master's degree and PhD from the Department of Communication, University of Padjadjaran Bandung INDONESIA.
Prof. Karomani: Lecturer in the Department Communication, Faculty of Social and Political Sciences, University Of Lampung INDONESIA. Lecturer in some subjects, among others: Ethics and Philosophy of Communication, Logic, Philosophy of science. Master's degree and PhD from the Department of Communication, University of Padjadjaran Bandung INDONESIA
Nusyirwan: Lecturer in Department Mathematics, Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences , University of Lampung INDONESIA. Lecturer in some subjects, among others: Multivarite Statistical Analysis, Statistical Methods, Sampling Methods. Master’s degree from Department of Statistics, Bogor Agricultural University (IPB), INDONESIA
Department of Communication
Faculty of Social and Political Science
University Of Lampung
Prof.Dr Soemantri Brojonegoro Street/ 1 Kelurahan Kedaton
Bandar Lampung City, Lampung Province
Code post 35144
Department of Communication
Faculty of Social and Political Science
University Of Lampung
Prof. Dr Soemantri Brojonegoro Street/ 1 Kelurahan Kedaton
Bandar Lampung City, Lampung Province
Code post 35144
Phone: 0721-704626 Psw 519 or 081271954649
Faculty of Natural Sciences
University Of Lampung
Prof. Dr Soemantri Brojonegoro Street/ 1 Kelurahan Kedaton
Bandar Lampung City, Lampung Province
Code post 35144