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EVERYDAY EMPIRE: HOW HOLLYWOOD NORMALIZED U.S. POLICIES OF PRIVILEGE IN HAWAIʻI

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Title:EVERYDAY EMPIRE: HOW HOLLYWOOD NORMALIZED U.S. POLICIES OF PRIVILEGE IN HAWAIʻI
Authors:Smorol, Sarah Jean
Contributors:Perkinson, Robert (advisor)
American Studies (department)
Keywords:American studies
Film studies
Pacific Rim studies
Colonialism
Empire
show 4 moreGender
Hawaii
Hollywood
Militarization
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Date Issued:Dec 2018
Publisher:University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Abstract:ABSTRACT
This dissertation argues that Hollywood films about Hawaiʻi in the pre-television and pre-statehood eras performed significant cultural work on an international stage. Under scrutiny will be the normalization of U.S. presence and coerced position of privilege in the Hawaiian Islands in several key areas including economy, militarism, ethnic stratification, and patriarchal power. Each of these are treated as pillars of American imperialism. In addition to accepted ideas about economics and militarism, I argue that the maintenance of patriarchal power relationships is enough to be considered as a pillar. I also apply Omi and Winant’s racial formation theory to an analysis of the unique ways racial formation was refracted in Hawaiʻi and the ways this is addressed in American films. Racial formation is also, I argue, deserving of a discrete categorization as a pillar of imperialism.
Thus, the key areas of analysis in this work include economic, military, social and political spheres and normalized American presence in the Hawaiian Islands through the filmic iterations of these ideologies with additional analysis of gender and racial formation as they played out in Hawaiʻi during the first half of the 20th century. As Stuart Hall usefully reminds us, images function as messages, and the ideals, beliefs, and values they represent are fluid and mutually dependent with social perspectives, and always related to functions of power. In my own project I deconstruct the imperialistic power relationships in this unique location with its own distinct historical trajectory. I examine the ways these are refracted through popular imagery in Hollywood films of Hawaiʻi from 1927 to 1976 to prove my primary arguments.
Description:Ph.D. Thesis. University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa 2018.
Pages/Duration:247 pages
URI:http://hdl.handle.net/10125/62077
Rights:All UHM dissertations and theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from this source for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without written permission from the copyright owner.
Appears in Collections: Ph.D. - American Studies


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