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Haoles in Hawai`i

Judy Rohrer

Publication Year: 2010

Haoles in Hawai‘i strives to make sense of haole (white person/whiteness in Hawai‘i) and "the politics of haole" in current debates about race in Hawai‘i. Recognizing it as a form of American whiteness specific to Hawai‘i, the author argues that haole was forged and reforged over two centuries of colonization and needs to be understood in that context. Haole reminds us that race is about more than skin color as it identifies a certain amalgamation of attitude and behavior that is at odds with Hawaiian and local values and social norms. By situating haole historically and politically, the author asks readers to think about ongoing processes of colonization and possibilities for reformulating the meaning of haole.

Published by: University of Hawai'i Press


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p. vii

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pp. ix-x

Haoles in Hawai‘i is the inaugural volume in a succeeding series on ethnicity planned by the University of Hawai‘i Press. Such a project is a reminder that academic presses are clusters of the energies and intelligences that help to make up and maintain a civil and literate society. Without such influences and resources our lives would all be poorer and...

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pp. xi-xii

In many ways, I have been writing this book since my family moved to Hawai‘i in 1974. Because of that it has been influenced by innumerable people — too many to thank by name. Please know my warmest mahalos go to all of you. The first to teach me about haole were my classmates at Kōloa Elementary School on Kaua‘i. Some of those lessons were harder...

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pp. 1-10

My introduction to haole came as a rude awakening, as it does for many. Growing up in California, I had some ideas about race. There were African American, Jewish, and Chicana/o children in the “free school” that my parents ran, and I ruled. If asked about race, I probably would have identified these children and their families and vocalized an antiracist sentiment learned from my parents, that is, “We should treat everyone...

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Chapter 1 - "Haole Go Home": Isn't Hawai`i Part of the U.S.?

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pp. 11-32

“Haole go home” was a popular slogan in the 1970s for a number of reasons. The native Hawaiian cultural and political revival was emerging and gaining strength, there was a strong antidevelopment movement in the islands, and local culture was finding new artistic expression, especially in literature, comedy, and music. It is not articulated as much...

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Chapter 2 - "No Ack!": What is Haole, Anyway?

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pp. 33-57

Having established the origins of haole in Hawai‘i’s colonization, this chapter considers the many different constructions of haole produced by haoles and others from “first contact” to present. As stated earlier, my interest is not so much in trying to define what haole is—as if one definition were possible—as in exploring the different ways it is produced. ...

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Chapter 3 - "Eh, Haole": Is "Haole" a Derogatory Word?

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pp. 58-75

“Eh, haole.” It is a phrase so common to Hawai‘i that it must be spoken thousands of times an hour. Yet if an increasingly vocal group of haoles get their way, we will no longer be uttering the “H-word.” In chapter 2 I explored the multiple constructions of haole generated over the years in haole, local, and native Hawaiian communities. An understanding of...

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Chapter 4 - "Locals Only" and "Got Koko?": Is Haole Victimized?

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pp. 76-100

The phrase “locals only” has existed in the islands for decades. It was so widely used that it was chosen in 1981 to name a now successful clothing line that churns out “Locals Only” T-shirts, bumper stickers, and other merchandise. Since local identity goes far beyond simple residence in Hawai‘i, the phrase helps shape that identity by announcing its...

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pp. 101-104

It has been over thirty years since I was literally pushed into recognizing myself as haole in that cafeteria line at Kōloa Elementary. Thankfully, I now understand much more about the remark “[expletive] haole” and about the ways haole has been produced as part of the colonization of Hawai‘i. Yet one of the things about writing a book is that it forces you...


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pp. 105-108

Hawaiian-Language Glossary

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pp. 109-110


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pp. 111-120


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pp. 121-124

E-ISBN-13: 9780824860424
Print-ISBN-13: 9780824834050

Publication Year: 2010

OCLC Number: 794925342
MUSE Marc Record: Download for Haoles in Hawai`i

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Subject Headings

  • Hawaii -- Colonization.
  • Whites -- Hawaii.
  • Race awareness -- Hawaii.
  • Hawaii -- Race relations.
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