In this essay, I write about ethnic group and why we cannot define an ethnic group by their cultural elements such as language, religion, customs and so on. I write this essay because there is a question about why we cannot define an ethnic group by their culture, whereas culture are one elements of an ethnic. There is problem of seeing ethnic groups as cultural groups; “the mere fact that two groups of people are of different culture does not necessarily imply – as has nearly always been assumed – that they belong to two quite different social systems (Leach 1954: 17), “Someone is Lue by virtue of believing and calling himself Lue and of acting in ways that validate his Lueness” (Moerman, 1965:1219),
First of all, I want to tell what is ethnic group. Before ethnic groups, anthropologies who study colonial subject and society called society they studied as ‘tribe’ and people they studied as “tribal people”. The word “tribe” was replaced by the word “ethnic groups” by the 1960s because; a tribal society is not as isolated as being assumed, tribal societies interact with one another, and the word tribe reflects Eurocentric views, a sharp qualitative distinction between ourselves and the people we study.
There is a problem when we seeing ethnic groups as cultural groups because there will be a different in their practice. For an example, ethnic Java Banyumasan or Banyumas at Indonesia with Orang Jawa of Malaysia. Basically, they are an specific ethnic. But due to geographical differences for example, they have different practice, language, religion and others.
In the field of demography, we can see Jawa Banyumasan usually live in the southwest of Central Java. Technically, Jawa Banyumasan is one of the subgroups of the Jawa people groups, but they have their own cultural variations which differ from other Jawa peoples. While The Orang Jawa, (Jawa of Malaysia) has migrated from Central Java, where the