Hawaiian Stereotypes Essay

Hawaiian Stereotypes Essay

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The Hawaiian culture is both diverse and unique, with its own language, traditions, and beliefs. Despite these multi-faceted characteristics, certain broad stereotypes about the culture persist in the non-Hawaiian population. My paper will explore where race, prejudice and cultural stereotypes come from and how both Hawaiian and non-Hawaiian cultures reinforce these stereotypes.
According to Dictionary.com a stereotype is something conforming to a fixed or general pattern, especially an often oversimplified or biased mental picture held to characterize the typical individual of a group (dictionary.com).
The term “stereotype” originally referred to a stamp used in the printing industry to make multiple copies from one single block. The first one to adopt this notion, to describe the way society categorized people, was social psychologist Walter Lippmann in 1922, in his book on media democracy, Public Opinion. He described the term as “the picture (of the world) that a person has in his/her head”. He was convinced that a picture it is definite, and reduces the world to simple characteristics which are represented as permanent by nature (Lippmann, 1997 [1922], p. 233).
Hawaii is a top vacation destination by many tourists all over the world. When Hawaii comes to mind many people and different cultures imagine sandy beaches, warm, blue waters, lush green backdrops, Hula dancers in grass skirts with flowers in their hair and leis around their necks. These visual representations are iconic symbols of Hawaii and of what many have come to define as Hawaiian. These images and ideas painted by the visitor industry most often take place at the expense of the Hawaiians historic culture. These stereotypes conjured up by the tourist indus...


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... I. McCubbin (2008). International and Cultural Psychology: The Kanaka Maoli :Native Hawaiians and heir Testimony of Trauma and Resilience

Mayeda, D.T., Chesney-Lind, M., & Koo, J. (2001, September). Talking story with Hawaii’s youth: Confronting violent and sexualized perceptions of ethnicity and gender. Youth & Society, 33(1), 99-128.
McCubbin, L.D. (2002). Resilience among Native Hawaiian adolescents: Ethnic identity, psychological distress and well-being. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, University of Wisconsin–Madison, Madison, WI.
McGovern, Gerry: National Stereotypes, (22nd March, 1999) (www.gerrymcgovern.com)
Okamura, The Illusion of Paradise, supra note 21, at 275-276.
McGregor, Davianna Pomaikaʻi. 1980. “Hawaiians: Organizing in the 1970s.” Amerasia Journal 7(2):29-55.
http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=stereotype 2001-2011 Douglas Harper

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