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ERIC Number: EJ979144
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012-May
Pages: 22
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0167-8507
Styling Hawai'i in "Haole"wood: White Protagonists on a Voyage of Self Discovery
Higgins, Christina; Furukawa, Gavin
Multilingua: Journal of Cross-Cultural and Interlanguage Communication, v31 n2 p177-198 May 2012
This article analyzes four Hollywood films set in Hawai'i to shed light on how particular languages and language varieties "style" (Auer 2007; Coupland 2007) Local/Hawaiian and mainland U.S. characters as certain kinds of people. Through an analysis of films featuring "haole" ("white, outsider") male protagonists who are on various journeys in Hawai'i, we analyze how cultural difference is constructed through divergent language choice, mock languages, and acts of linguistic bridging by quasi-Local characters. We draw upon Communication Accommodation Theory (Giles & Coupland 1991) to explain how linguistic divergence establishes dichotomous characterizations through language choice and other non-accommodating behaviors. As our analysis shows, Hollywood styling perpetuates Orientalist discourses (Said 1978) about "whiteness" and "nativeness" by dichotomizing Local and Hawaiian people, and by characterizing Local characters as largely antagonistic toward outsiders. At the same time, the films attempt to avoid too close a linkage to colonialist discourses by establishing quasi-Local "haole" characters as linguistic "buffers" who act as conduits for Hawaiian worldviews and Local knowledge, and who are styled linguistically as partially Local through their knowledge of Hawai'i Creole and Hawaiian. (Contains 5 notes.)
De Gruyter Mouton. Available from: Walter de Gruyter. P.O. Box 960, Herndon, VA 20172-0960. Tel: 800-208-8144; Tel: 703-661-1589; Fax: 703-661-1501; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Hawaii
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A