Psychology of Overlapping Ethnopolitical Social Identities in Muslim Mindanao: Is Bangsamoro Identity Possible?

Historically, peacebuilding efforts in Mindanao seem to focus on formation and training which oftentimes increase cultural understandings and tolerance of each other’s religions. But the researchers believe that understanding the nature of peace in Mindanao entails looking beyond a conventional clash-of-religions narrative as reflected in the Zamboanga siege. Underneath the religious umbrella, particularly of the Muslims, there are tribal contours that become salient as peace talks discuss territorial dominion over land ceded by the dominant Christian state [Montiel, C.J., de Guzman, J., & Macapagal, M.E. (2012). Fragmented ethnopolitical social representations of a territorial peace agreement: The Mindanao peace talks, Journal of Pacific Rim Psychology, 6, 1-11.]

The discourse during peace talks has traditionally been about a single Muslim territory referred to as the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) associated with the Tausug-led MNLF, or the Bangsamoro Juridical Entity (BJE) in the 2008 failed peace agreement with the Maguindanao-influenced MILF. The Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro signed last October 2012 calls for the creation of an autonomous political entity named Bangsamoro, replacing ARMM. Thus the history of Mindanao peacemaking in the Philippines seems to assume a common identity for Muslims and does not seem to recognize the underlying political and tribal contours in Muslim Mindanao.  This proposed study looks into the ethnopolitical social identities of Muslims in Mindanao.

Thus, the study sought to address the following research questions: Which social identity is salient among Muslims in Mindanao? Are there overlapping social identities in Bangsamoro? What is the relationship of social identity salience, perceived threat, and attitude toward the Bangsamoro identity?

Name of Awardee: 

Cristina Jayme Montiel, Ma. Elizabeth J. Macapagal, Jose Jowel P. Canuday

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