Understanding Social Integration: Conditions, Forms, and Influencing Factors

Understanding Social Integration – Social integration is an adjustment between different elements, especially in social life. So that later it will produce a comfortable life pattern for the community.

If seen from what he said, social integrity actually consists of two terms, namely “integration” which has the meaning of wholeness or perfection. Then “social” which has the meaning of relationship or reciprocity of an action performed by social or society.

But if it has the meaning according to KBBI, integration has the meaning of a renewal of something until it becomes a whole unity. Integrity itself is something that has an important role in society itself. With that, community goals will be harmoniously formed and it will be easy to achieve common goals.

Then, through the process, all things related to social order such as culture, law, education, and others will be easy to do. So we can conclude that social integration can be assessed as one of the elements that can reduce the occurrence of social conflicts in society.

Well, for Reader who want to know more about social integration. You can read and understand it through the meaning that will be explained below. There are several definitions from experts and several other explanations such as the conditions, forms, and processes of social integration.

A. Meaning of Social Integration

As explained earlier, if we look at the meaning of social integration according to KBBI, then we will find that integration is the blending of separate things into a whole.

The meaning of blending itself is to adapt, to enter, to melt, and to merge. So that all these things can become a unity. In that way, the integration refers to the meaning of adjusting, melting, or uniting two or more different things.

From the explanation, we can conclude that social integration is a process of adjustment of different elements that exist in society. So that it can melt into one and whole. These elements can be in the form of race, ethnicity, social position, religion, language, norms, customs or habits, and also value systems.

In community integration, there is cooperation from all walks of life. Starting from families, individuals, institutions, and even the community itself. So that it can produce an agreement about values, which are then upheld together.

However, social integrity cannot only be measured from the criteria above, which is the fusion of all members of society in a physical sense. But it also includes the development of solidarity and humane feelings. It is the basis of a harmony of a society.

According to Michael Banton, a British social scientist, explains integrity as a pattern of a relationship that considers the existence of racial differences in society. However, they did not give an important role to the difference.

The rights and obligations related to a person’s race are only limited to that field, so that there is nothing to do with the field, be it job, status, and others.

B. Meaning of Social Integration According to the Experts

After explaining the meaning of social integration in general. This time the writer will provide information related to the meaning of integration according to experts.

1. Gillin

Social integration is a social phenomenon that occurs due to the existence of a social process. Especially related to differences in elements, such as emotional, cultural, behavioral, and also desires.

Where in the end it will cause aspects of social problems. So that by realizing this, the community should have an easier time doing the reconciliation process that we call integration.

2. Soerjono Soekanto

Social integration is one form of a social process carried out by various parties. This is done to overcome the problems that exist in the community. The problem can be caused by social conflict, violence, and threats from other parties.

3. Hendropuspito

Social integration is a community unity that will ultimately make each individual have a vision and also a mission.

4. Paul B. Horton

Social integration is a series of processes and social interactions for all racial and ethnic groups that can unite. So that it can support economic and cultural life.

C. Conditions of Social Integration

Below are some conditions that must be met to form a social integration in society.

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1. Having a sense of mutual need between communities

Indeed, everyone will have their own needs. Where the needs will be different for each individual. Therefore, as a whole society, we must need each other and also complement each other. It aims to ensure that our needs can be met properly.

That attachment and necessity will later become one of the driving factors for the occurrence of intact social relationships. Until finally we will be known as social beings.
As we know that all the things that a person needs will require the help of others.

For example, in terms of getting an education, of course we will need teachers, ministers of education and others. Then in the case of buying and selling transactions, of course we will need a seller and also a buyer.

It is this relationship that will later become a condition for the formation of social integration that we must understand.

2. Values ​​and Norms Should Be Conducted Consistently

The values ​​and norms that prevail in a society are one of the driving factors for social integration. The norms that apply in society are actually the same as unwritten laws.

So, knowingly or not, the norm is strongly believed to be one of the cornerstones in organizing community life. For example, the norm when visiting someone else’s house, or the norm when talking to older people.

Values ​​and norms that have been agreed upon and applied in society have become something permanent and eternal. Of course, the norm has been done through generations and consistently. Although basically the norm is not taught in formal schools. But one of the factors of conflict in society is a violation of prevailing values ​​and norms.

3. Values ​​and Norms Achieved Through Mutual Agreement

A community is a group of people in one area. It’s just that the community is not only made up of one race, religion, and the same background. But they have different backgrounds. In order to create social integration, the condition that must be met is an agreement on the norms that will apply. It must be agreed upon and obeyed by all members of the community.

Every human being has a different cultural background. Therefore, there are many forms of diversity of existing norms and values. So that the agreement of norms and values ​​that should be applied is very much needed. The agreement is an example of social integration related to the culture that exists in society.

There are several provisions related to values ​​and norms such as what should happen in society. So that not all values ​​and norms can be applied freely and openly. One of the stipulations of values ​​and norms is a norm that has been in place for a long time and the value of norms that have been in place based on mutual agreement.

4. Tolerance

Tolerance is a very important thing in the relationship in the social group with the general public. Because, as explained above, society, especially in Indonesia, is a society that consists of many backgrounds. Starting from culture , tribe , race, religion , and many more.

If there is no tolerance, then it will not be possible to form social integration in society. This is one of the conditions that must be met to form a social integration, namely mutual respect and mutual respect for all differences.

An example of an attitude of tolerance is the implementation of cooperative activities in the community in building places for worship or perhaps public facilities. That way, the community will be easier to communicate and well integrated. That is why tolerance is important.

5. Having Self-Awareness as a Social Being

One of the conditions for the formation of social integration is that each individual has awareness as a social being. So, all activities carried out have the purpose of achieving the common good. Therefore, if you want to join a social group, then you must have self-awareness that you are a social being.

By realizing that you are a social being, you will more easily integrate with other communities. Because, that attitude is a fundamental thing that everyone must have.

6. Have the same Vision and Mission

One of the conditions for social integration is to have the same vision and mission. Just like the conditions in social institutions, ordinary people also need to have the same vision and mission. Where the purpose, vision, and mission are obtained from a mutual agreement. 

With the right communication, then the agreed vision and mission can be realized as a form of social integration. Although every member of the community involved in it has a different background.

That is the six conditions for social integration in society. Basically, this can only happen when there is social contact and good communication between fellow members of the community. Because, those things are the characteristics of social relationships that must be fulfilled. So that the conditions of social integration can be achieved.

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D. Forms of Social Integration

After discussing the conditions for social integration. This time we will discuss the forms of social integration that you need to know.

1. Normative Integration

This form of integration can be interpreted as integration that occurs because of the norms and values ​​that prevail in the society. Norms are something that can unite people, even if they have different backgrounds. For example, Indonesian citizens are united by a principle we call ” Bhineka Tunggal Ika “.

2. Functional Integration

The second form of integration is functional integration. This integration appears because of certain functions that exist in society. Then, the integration can happen if we prioritize the function that comes from each member of society. For example, Indonesia consists of various races and tribes.

3. Coercive Integration

Coercive integration is a form of integration created due to the power possessed by the ruler. That means, the ruler will apply violent means or also called coercive. For example, the demonstrators stopped rioting when the police sprayed tear gas into the crowd of demonstrators. That is one example of coercive integration.

E. Driving Factors of Social Integration

There are several things that are driving factors for social integration. Here are some factors you need to understand:

1. Group Homogeneity

One of the factors that can encourage social integration is the level of pluralism. The more plural and heterogeneous a society is, the more difficult the integration process will be. It may also take longer. Whereas a homogeneous society will more easily achieve social integration, because they can more easily create integrity in a fairly short time.

2. Number of Members

In addition to the plurality of the community, the number of members can also be a factor in the speed of the process of forming social integration. The more members, the more difficult it is to create and achieve the integration.

3. Geographical Mobility

Geographical mobility is a change or displacement of people in a region. New members of the community in a region will try to adapt to the norms and values ​​that already apply in the region.

4. Effectiveness of Communication

Social integration can be influenced by the effectiveness of communication between one member and another in the community. If members already have an effective communication system, then social integration will be easily achieved. But if a society does not have an effective communication system, then it will be more difficult for them to achieve social integration.

5. Attitude of Tolerance and Mutual Need

The last factor is the existence of tolerance to the feeling of needing each other. That way, it will be easier for members of the community to accept the differences that exist in the community itself. In addition, the awareness that we need each other can also accelerate the formation of social integration.

F. Social Integration Process

You can see the process of social integration from some of the processes below.

1. Acculturation

Acculturation is a social process that occurs when a society that has a certain culture is confronted with a different or foreign culture. The process of integration will continue until elements of foreign culture are accepted by the community and processed back into their own culture.

However, usually acculturation will take place without losing one’s own cultural characteristics. Thus, we can conclude that acculturation is a process of change marked by the unification of two different cultures.

The union of the two cultures will cause the two cultures to be almost similar. However, each of these cultures still maintains its characteristics or special features. In fact, the process of acculturation has existed since ancient times. This is because humans always migrate and move from one place to another.

With the migration there will be a meeting between different community groups. Therefore, every member of society will be faced with foreign cultural elements. Then, as time goes by, they will certainly do acculturation.

2. Assimilation

Assimilation is a social process whose emergence is marked by an effort to reduce a difference that exists in society. In the process, every member of the community will strive to improve the unity of attitude, action and also mental process while still paying attention to common interests.

That way, they will no longer distinguish each other and the boundaries between them will disappear. Then melt into a single entity.

3. Accommodation

Accomodation is a process of community effort in easing conflict and creating stability. The accommodation that exists in the community is expected to be able to resolve the conflict without damaging and destroying the opponent.

With accommodation, the conflict will be easier to resolve and be more peaceful. Therefore, accommodation can make it easier for members of a society to adapt to other members of society.

Also read the related article “Meaning of Social Integration” :

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  • Meaning of Social Board
  • Understanding Social Structure
  • List of Tribes in Indonesia
  • Understanding Social Differentiation

Those are some explanations about the meaning of social integration . We need to understand that unity and acceptance in society is very necessary for us to do consistently. So that we can live comfortably and peacefully and avoid social conflict.