The Faculty of Social Sciences offers Masters and Ph.D degree programmes by research only. We have expertise in many areas namely, indigenous knowledge, gender relations, politics, urbanisation, community development, social policy and planning. Our Faculty members have often been invited to assist and conduct research funded by the Sarawak State Government. In 2005, it was decided that Social Transformation in Borneo would be the theme and research niche area for the Faculty. Under this rubric, several research clusters have been identified, namely,
- Ethnicity, Identity and Belief Systems
- Political Change and Culture
- Environment and Community Development
- Indigenous Knowledge
Changing Trends in Ethnic Identification and Sense of Belonging Among the Kedayan Communities in Sarawak.
Ethnicity, Identity and Belief Systems.
Kelvin Egay John (L), A P Dr. James Chin, Mohd. Suhaidi Salleh, Siti Haslina Husin and Khadijah Mohd. Tuah.
The aim of this study is to examine the changing trends in ethnic identification amongst the Kedayan communities in Sarawak. Due to scarce ethnographic data on the Kedayan communities, this research will take steps to investigate mechanisms in which the Kedayan maintain their unique identities. Kedayan political consciousness, their beliefs and rituals as categories of identification will be examined. In addition, changing patterns of gender relationship within the family will also be studied.
Political Culture and Change in Sarawak and Sabah.
Political Change and Culture.
Dr. Andrew Aeria (L), Dr. Neilson Ilan Mersat, AP Dr. James Chin and Dr. Lucy Sebli.
This study explores evolving developments in Sabah and Sarawak with respect to citizen’s and society’s attitude and orientation towards politics, nationalism and nation-building. By examining the political culture and historical changes which have occurred, factors that both promote and inhibit the process of national unity, national identity and a vibrant democratic society in both states would be identified.
Transformation in Marriage and Family in Urban Sarawak.
AP Dr. Hew Cheng Sim and Goy Siew Ching.
Central to this study is an understanding of changes in people’s perception and expectation of marriage from a class, gender and ethnic perspective. A generational view will also be elicited through retrospective questions with respondents about their parents and what they would teach their children. Respondents experience of marital satisfaction or otherwise will also be investigated in this study. Other factors which impinge upon family processes such as their expectations of their children and support of aged parents will also be examined.
An Evaluation Study on Neighbourhood Open Space Usage in Kuching and Its Role in Social Interaction.
AP Dr. Abd. Mutalip B. Abdullah (L), Dr. John Phoa Chui Leong, Haslina Hashim
This study aim to look at the level of open space usage provided in residential areas. As the role of open spaces is seen to promote social interaction among individuals and households in the community, it is important to study if the current practices of open spaces provision - including the design, facilities provided, location, accessibility and the threshold density are able to achieve such purposes. Among other objectives this study will try to address why certain open spaces are higly utilised while some are neglected. It is hoped that results obtained from this study will be used to guide policy makers towards better physical and social planning in the future in relation to neighbourhood open spaces.