The Aloha Culture
The dominant ideology of Hawaii is not easily discerned due to the large diverse population of emigrants from many nations that mix with the state's indigenous groups. There is a popular ideology that presents the aloha thinking which holds peace, compassion, and the harmonious living of Hawaii's diverse cultures. However, this ideology is not exactly accurate and many racial tensions and inequalities underlie this ideology as reported by John Osorio, professor of Hawaiian studies at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, on NPR,
Native Hawaiians...have been pushed to the margins. "And it's not a nice place to be," ...Those margins include high incarceration levels, very little land ownership and poor education. "This is such a different situation than it was in the 19th century, when we were a kingdom. When we had our own government, and when we had one of the highest literacy rates in the entire world."
In contrast to the United States, Hawaii's social and racial tensions are not tension seen as minorities oppressed by a single dominant class but as the indigenous people oppressed by multiple groups comprising a diverse authority of control.
Hawaii's dominant ideology strangely mimics the United States ideology embedded in the “American Dream” perhaps caused by the US annexation of the state combined with the native Hawaiian traditions and concepts embodied in aloha. Hawaii may be closer to a pluralist society for trying to accommodate cultures but not really accepting them. Hawaii has nationality-based enclaves just like the US and many other countries with the only difference being the larger numbers of nonwhites.
Whether or not the accepting aloha spirit will prevail as the dominant ideology in Hawaii remains a story still being written. Growth of tourism and other globalization factors make Hawaii a place to watch closely to see the long term effects a highly diverse population will have on many social issues.
NPR. (2009). Hawaii Is Diverse, But Far From A Racial Paradise