Social Interactions among Multi-Ethnic Students

  •  Abdul Hashim    
  •  Noor Insyiraah Abu Bakar    
  •  Nordin Mamat    
  •  Abdul Rahim Razali    


Positive social interaction is a vital aspect of maintaining a harmonious condition, especially in Malaysia, a country which has a multiracial society. Therefore, this study was carried out to identify the patterns of social interactions among multiethnic students in national secondary schools in Malaysia. The respondents for this study comprise two school administrators, seven teachers and 20 students of various ethnicities. They were selected through purposive sampling. Data were collected through interview sessions either individually or in focus groups, observation and document analysis. The study’s findings showed that, there are five patterns of social interaction such as cooperation, exchange, competition, conflict and non-verbal communication among multiethnic students. Although there was conflict, the underlying causes of the conflict were not due to racial issues. As well as the five patterns of social interactions stated above, stereotypes were also reported among students. Despite conflicts and stereotypes, the students actively attempted to learn about other cultures and demonstrated attitudes of acceptance towards friends from other ethnic backgrounds. This indicates that the social interaction among students is still favorable and can be further improved through appropriate response. Additionally, based on these findings, a few recommendations were made regarding this issue.

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