Essay 4 prewriting activity #2

  • Why is it difficult to answer accurately “Exactly who is a Native Hawaiian?” Why does the answer to the question matter – both in everyday life in Hawaii and to us as we think about the realities of social identities?

In this reading, Olson talks about how no matter what your ancestry says you have the freedom to choose who you are and who you affiliate yourself with. He talks about how “ when a substantial number of mix individuals demonstrate by their very existence bad choices are possible that biology is not destiny. the barriers between groups become more permeable. The necessity in Hawaii, for example, seems far less Stark and categorical then it does and the rest of the United States. The people of Hawaii recognize overlaps and exceptions. They are more willing to accept the non-natives who claimed to have non-European ancestors or the native Hawaiians who affiliates with Filipinos. It’s true that people talk about the differences among groups all the time but even talking about these differences rather than rigidly ignoring them make something less daunting. Expression of social Prejudice in Hawaii is more like a form of social banter like a husband and a wife picking at each other’s faults. The Logical endpoint of this perspective is a world in which people are free to choose their ethnicity regardless of their ancestry. Ethnicity is not yet entirely voluntary in Hawaii but in many respects, the islands are headed in that direction. State law, for example, is gradually coming to the find a native Hawaiian as anyone with a single line ancestor. But at that point at the city becomes untethered from biology it is instead of cultural, political or historical distinction. People are no longer who they say they are because of some mysterious biological Essence. They have chosen the group with which they want to affiliate.” Even though your ethnicity is who you are and is biologically what makes you up you have the choice to be free and to choose your ethnicity regardless of what your ancestry says. There are many groups around the world that talk about these differences between ethnicities and instead of ignoring them talking about it makes it seem less daunting.


  • What is a “community of descent?” In what ways is a “community of descent” different from an “ethnic group” or “racial group?” Pull together and explain material from Olson’s text to define these terms and explain why Olson thinks the concept of “community of descent” is a useful way to think about mixed ancestry.

As Olson describes in the text that ethnic groups,  racial groups or a community of descent can Define who you are and who you associate yourself with there are people that also will associate themselves with different ethnicities for different types of scenarios. He says that“  the most remarkable aspect of ethnicity in Hawaii is it’s loose relation to biology. Many people have considerable latitude and choosing their ethnic affiliations. Those of mix ancestries can associate with the ethnicity of a parent a grandmother or a distant ancestor. They can partition their ethnic affiliation. They can be Chinese with their Chinese relatives native Hawaiian with their native Ken and just plain local with their bodies. The community of descent that a person Associates with has become more like a professional or religious affiliation a connection over which people has some measure of control. people whose ancestors are from a single ethnic group have fewer options but they too can partake at least some of Hawaii’s ethnic flexibility. young whites for example sometimes try to pass themselves off as mixed by maintaining and especially pan. Among many young people dating someone from a different ethnic group is a social asset rather than a liability in part because of the doors, it opens to other communities. Many prospective students at the University of Hawaii simply mark “mixed”  in describing their ethnicity on application forms even if both parents have the same ethnic background.” In this quotation from the article the writer references to how many people in Hawaii have used their ethnicity as an affiliation for different social groups and two associate themselves with different kinds of people. In Hawaii people even with single ethnic groups also are able to do this by saying that they are a mixed race even if both parents have the same ethnic background.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *