Change search
ReferencesLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
The paradox in humanitarian and legislative approaches: A qualitative field study regarding the children of ethnic groups with history of nomadic origin.
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Studies.
2015 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Sama Dilaut are a marginalized, ethnic group in Malaysia and are known as seafaring nomads. The group is found in the whole Coral Triangle. Many groups around the world who share a history of nomadic origin, also face marginalization by society. One cannot help but wonder why these different groups face similar repercussions.


In Malaysia, the Sama Dilaut are stateless and considered to be in the country illegally, despite the fact that the group has been documented to live in the area as far back as the 16th Century. The future prospects for the stateless children in the country due Malaysia’s statement to ratify UN Convention for the Rights of Children but not UN Convention for Stateless People. The NGO, PKPMM, Sabah provides formal schooling for marginalized children in the state of Sabah. It thus seems paradoxical that the state aims to provide educational opportunities, while at the same time attempting to arrest and deport members of the Sama Dilaut.  


This study is conducted as a deductive qualitative field study based on semi-structured interviews to collect empirical data. I traveled to Sabah, on Eastern Borneo in Malaysia, to visit PKPKM Sabah. The qualitative tradition of ethnomethodology provided my approach. Furthermore, the analysis is a thematic text analysis which is primary based on the explanations by Monica Dalen in the book Interview as Method (2011).


The theory the Established and the Outsiders, and the Durable Inequality theory provided the base for this research. These two theories have been used as theoretical framework and analytical assistance. With the awareness that the perspective of western sociology could become indistinct to apply globally. Yet, these two theories are most suitable.


The inequality between, the two categories, Sama Dilaut and the majority society is a natural routine and is manifested in most social contacts them between. This also consolidates and legitimizes the situation and the various positions, the members from each category, are in. Furthermore, it is presented how this takes place over generations; individuals are replaced within the categories, but the categorical behavior consistent. The group of Sama Dilaut does not only deviates from the majority society but also lacks a strong cohesion within their own ethnic group (Elias & Scotson 1999:50-51), which can be applied to other marginalized groups who share a similar history of nomadic traditions.


The organization, PKPKM Sabah, which has been working to legalize their operations, can now provide formal education for the underprivileged children of Sama Dilaut. At the same time, the policy pursued by the government towards illegal immigrants, deprives them of their educational rights, which are granted to them by Education for All. Despite the presence of the PKPKM schools and education centers, the children of Sama Dilaut have very little educational opportunities.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. , 34 p.
Keyword [en]
Durable Inequality, Established and Outsiders, Stateless, Ethnic marginalization
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-47093OAI: diva2:868088
Subject / course
Educational program
Peace and Development Programme, 180 credits
Available from: 2015-11-10 Created: 2015-11-09 Last updated: 2015-11-10Bibliographically approved

Open Access in DiVA

fulltext(609 kB)37 downloads
File information
File name FULLTEXT01.pdfFile size 609 kBChecksum SHA-512
Type fulltextMimetype application/pdf

By organisation
Department of Social Studies

Search outside of DiVA

GoogleGoogle Scholar
Total: 37 downloads
The number of downloads is the sum of all downloads of full texts. It may include eg previous versions that are now no longer available

Total: 61 hits
ReferencesLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link