Ethnicity and Inequality in Hawai'i

Jonathan Y. Okamura
Book Cover

PB: $32.95
EAN: 978-1-59213-756-5
Publication: Apr 08

HC: $86.50
EAN: 978-1-59213-755-8
Publication: Apr 08

Ebook: $32.95
EAN: 978-1-59213-757-2
Publication: Apr 08

256 pages
6 x 9
4 tables

In Hawai’i, ethnicity rather than race structures social and economic inequalities��

Read the Introduction (pdf).

Description

Challenging the dominant view of Hawai’i as a “melting pot paradise”—a place of ethnic tolerance and equality—Jonathan Okamura examines how ethnic inequality is structured and maintained in island society. He finds that ethnicity, not race or class, signifies difference for Hawai’i’s people and therefore structures their social relations. In Hawai’i, residents attribute greater social significance to the presumed cultural differences between ethnicities than to more obvious physical differences, such as skin color.

According to Okamura, ethnicity regulates disparities in access to resources, rewards, and privileges among ethnic groups, as he demonstrates in his analysis of socioeconomic and educational inequalities in the state. He shows that socially and economically dominant ethnic groups—Chinese Americans, Japanese Americans, and whites—have stigmatized and subjugated the islands’ other ethnic groups—especially Native Hawaiians, Filipino Americans, and Samoans. He demonstrates how ethnic stereotypes have been deployed against ethnic minorities and how these groups have contested their subordinate political and economic status by articulating new identities for themselves.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction
2. Changing Ethnic Differences
3. Socioeconomic Inequality and Ethnicity
4. Educational Inequality and Ethnicity
5. Constructing Ethnic Identities, Constructing Differences
6. Japanese Americans: Toward Symbolic Identity
7. Filipino Americans: Model Minority or Dog Eaters?
8. Conclusion
Notes
References
Index

About the Author(s)

Jonathan Y. Okamura is an Associate Professor in the Department of Ethnic Studies at the University of Hawai'i at Manoa. A social anthropologist, he is the author of Imagining the Filipino American Diaspora: Transnational Relations, Identities, and Communities.


Subjects

In the Series

  • Asian American History and Culture edited by Cathy Schlund-Vials, Rick Bonus, and Shelley Sang-Hee Lee

    Founded by Sucheng Chan in 1991, the Asian American History and Culture series has sponsored innovative scholarship that has redefined, expanded, and advanced the field of Asian American studies while strengthening its links to related areas of scholarly inquiry and engaged critique. Like the field from which it emerged, the series remains rooted in the social sciences and humanities, encompassing multiple regions, formations, communities, and identities. Extending the vision of founding editor Sucheng Chan and emeriti editor Michael Omi, David Palumbo-Liu, K. Scott Wong and Linda Trinh Vú, series editors Cathy Schlund-Vials, Rick Bonus, and Shelley Sang-Hee Lee continue to develop a foundational collection that embodies a range of theoretical and methodological approaches to Asian American studies.