A Montage of Minorities:’ Hawai’i Tourism and the Commodification of Racial Tolerance, 1959-1978
Hawaii is portrayed as America’s own tropical paradise; however, this appearance is a result of marketing shaped by political and cultural forces. In branding Hawaii as an experience of racial difference and tolerance, visitors overlook the white supremacy and exploitation plaguing Hawaii’s history, while travel agents commodify America’s false story of racial progress.
Davenport, Sarah Miller. 2017. “A Montage of Minorities:’ Hawai’i Tourism and the Commodification of Racial Tolerance, 1959-1978.” The Historical Journal 60(3):817-42.
Aloha America: Hula Circuits through the U.S. Empire
Through the personal experiences of the Hawaiian natives interviewed for this book, we are able to better understand the commodification of Hawaiian culture. This reading discusses the transformation and adaption of Hula in relation to tourism. It specifically addresses the sexualization of hula dancers in order to market Hawaii to American tourists.
Imada, Adria L. 2012. Aloha America: Hula Circuits through the U.S. Empire. Durham, N.C:Duke University Press.
Beyond the Reef: Cultural Construction of Hawaii in Mainland American, Australia and Japan
Americanized Hawaiian Song – Anon. 2010. Ukulele Baby. The BOB & TOM Show.
Tourists expect Hawaii’s music and dance to reflect the island paradise they were sold on. Because of this, locals have been forced to modify their music into what tourist believe is Hawaiian when, in reality, it has very little similarities to indigenous Hawaiian music. This music incorporates ragtime, jazz, blues and other American musical forms to create Hawaiian themes songs known by the name of hapa haole or “half outsider.” Once the identity of the hapa haole was created, the entertainment industry in America, Australia, and Japan began incorporating this unauthentic identity into movies and music, further appropriating the culture in order to sell it to consumers.
Lewis, George H. “Beyond the Reef: Cultural Construction of Hawaii in Mainland American, Australia and Japan.” Journal of Popular Culture 30(2): 123-35.