This research is an in-depth study of borderlander community economic integration in Aji Kuning, Sebatik island, Nunukan regency, East Kalimantan province. The borderland is an area between Indonesia and Sabah, Malaysia. It focused on market as a transaction arena and economic relationship related to social, politics, culture and ethnic issues. Aji Kuning market has already more integrated with international market (Malaysia especially).
Aji Kuning village in paradoxical situation, one side is a remote and poor villages of Indonesia, on the other side is close to Sabah-Malaysia. Sabah have socio-economic condition better than Nunukan regency, which open up opportunities for rural communities to enable the potential socio-cultural resources for their socialwelfare. The social reality in my research quickly led me to a phenomenon known as economic integration. I have been inspired by Clifford Geertz on typology research community in Java. He found three core social structure, the villages, markets and government bureaucracies that reflect the cultures of three types: abangan, students and the officers.
Border market was described as a market which the transaction process is taken place at anytime, anywhere, sometimes it needs a place but it usually happened without any physically place. Aji Kuning community market was identified as a traditional market that has a free trade whereas maximized and profit orientations are the main point. Aji Kuning community economic activity not merely influence the economic dimension but also related to other dimensions especially culture, relationship and ethnic. It was built in a network. Ethnic identity as a culture identity is contextual and it depends on economic interest and benefit. The related countries especially the local politic institutions provide more opportunity to the borderlander developing a flexible market for borderland trade regulation.
It was found that the borderlander build the economic network as a social solidarity formation for economic resources benefit. Social networking is a set of special relationships or specific formed between a group of people, which these relationship characteristics can be used to interpret the motives of the social behavior of the people involved. This research context is the common economic interests by setting the observation stems from the Aji Kuning market. Observations on ethnic identity and its utilization in the network economy, emphasis on the interaction of ethnic groups in economic activity in all networks based on the commodities are traded.
Observation of the networks concluded that the borderline market is loaded with social interactions. There are arena of cultural activity and political expression, the network information flow. It is also the center of community interaction with the social diversity, economic, ethnic and religious, as well as the combined culture group which are clash, collaborate, collude, compete and conflict. Strategies across borderlinders becomes a rational choice, and that people often use their dual nationality to sustain the trade across borders. In this case, politics became the economic development facility. On the other hand, without economic power, the politic authority will not be long-lasting.
Keywords: Borderland, Market, Ethnicity, Networks, Local Political