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Building Filipino Hawai'i

Building Filipino Hawai'i

Copyright Date: 2015
Pages: 192
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  • Book Info
    Building Filipino Hawai'i
    Book Description:

    Drawing on ten years of interviews and ethnographic and archival research, Roderick Labrador delves into the ways Filipinos in Hawai'i have balanced their pursuit of upward mobility and mainstream acceptance with a desire to keep their Filipino identity. In particular, Labrador speaks to the processes of identity making and the politics of representation among immigrant communities striving to resist marginalization in a globalized, transnational era. Critiquing the popular image of Hawai'i as a postracial paradise, he reveals how Filipino immigrants talk about their relationships to the place(s) they left and the place(s) where they've settled, and how these discourses shape their identities. He also shows how the struggle for community empowerment, identity territorialization, and the process of placing and boundary making continue to affect how minority groups construct the stories they tell about themselves, to themselves and others.

    eISBN: 978-0-252-09676-1
    Subjects: Sociology, Anthropology

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. List of Illustrations
    (pp. ix-x)
    (pp. xi-xvi)
  5. INTRODUCTION. “Why do you want to go to Hawai‘i?”
    (pp. 1-26)

    It was a frosty spring in western New York when I was trying to figure out my postcollege plans. I had spent the past four years at a small, private university located near Lake Ontario, and I was looking for some change in terms of weather and demographics. For graduate school, should I go to Hawai‘i, or should I return to California, where I had spent much of my youth? I received some advice from a friend’s father, a post-1965 Filipino immigrant and a doctor in New Jersey. When I told him that I was leaning toward going to Hawai‘i,...

  6. CHAPTER 1 Overlapping Architectures
    (pp. 27-48)

    There are several neighborhoods in O‘ahu that most local people identify as “Filipino neighborhoods.” One of my interviewees, Antonio Buan, who was taking an Ilokano language class at the University of Hawai‘i at M a noa and self-identified as Local, summed up his “Filipino” upbringing in the following way: “I went [to] elementary in Kalihi but middle school and high school in Waipahu. How much more Filipino can you get?” For many people on O‘ahu, Kalihi and Waipahu are the prototypical “Filipino” neighborhoods, and from this perspective and given his residential history, Antonio grew up very Filipino. However, the naming...

  7. CHAPTER 2 “What’s so p/funny?”
    (pp. 49-73)

    Sherry Ann is anxious and excited to tell me a story about “being Filipino in Hawai‘i.” She describes herself as a “Local Filipino” but is quick to add, “but I didn’t really grow up Filipino.” When I first asked to interview her, she was reluctant. She asked me, “Why do you want to interview me for your project? I’m so not Filipino!” Both of her parents immigrated to the islands from the Philippines but unlike most Filipinos in Hawai‘i, she grew up in a predominantly white, Japanese and Chinese high-income neighborhood where, as she puts it, “there were only a...

  8. CHAPTER 3 “Anything but . . .”
    (pp. 74-97)

    Ramon Jacinto is a well-respected senior Filipino community leader. Although he has spent most of his life on O‘ahu, he also spent significant amounts of time on another island. Ramon describes himself as “a child of the plantations”—he was born and raised in a plantation community, and both parents were first-generation agricultural workers. He is a veteran of struggles for educational equity, and much of his community work focuses on youth empowerment. During one of our interviews, I asked him how he would best characterize the Filipino community in Hawai‘i. He paused for a moment and then said, “Filipinos...

  9. CHAPTER 4 “The Center is not just for Filipinos, but for all of Hawai‘i nei”
    (pp. 98-128)

    It is a typical hot, dry summer morning in Waipahu, a rural, working-class neighborhood and historic plantation town located near Pearl Harbor on the leeward (western) side of O‘ahu. It is sunny and eighty-five degrees, and only a few white clouds dot the skies. It is what people usually imagine and expect Hawai‘i weather to be. The old Waipahu sugar mill smokestack, the most recognizable community landmark, sits only a few hundred yards away. Although the sugar mill closed in 1995, it continues to loom in the background. The sugar plantation in Waipahu was established in the 1890s, turning the...

  10. CONCLUSION. Unsettling Hawai‘i
    (pp. 129-136)

    In the November 2002 gubernatorial election, Republican candidate Linda Lingle, a former mayor of Maui County, soundly defeated Lieutenant Governor Mazie Hirono. Lingle’s victory was particularly significant because not only was she the first woman governor of the state of Hawai‘i, she was also the first Republican governor elected since statehood in 1959. Since the “Democratic Revolution” in 1954, the Democratic Party has dominated state politics and continues to hold the majority in the state senate and House of Representatives. Although the election of Linda Lingle signaled a potential shift in the islands’ political environment, the governor’s race itself demonstrated...

  11. NOTES
    (pp. 137-148)
    (pp. 149-162)
  13. INDEX
    (pp. 163-170)
  14. Back Matter
    (pp. 171-176)