Pondering Poi Dog: Racial Identity of Multi-Racial Native Hawaiians

Shawn Malia Kanaiaupuni, University of Wisconsin at Madison
Carolyn A. Liebler, University of Washington

In this paper, we examine the conditions that lead to Native Hawaiian identification among multiracial Native Hawaiian children. We examine and present 1990 Census data, and initial data from the Census 2000 and the American Community Survey (Census 2000 Supplementary Survey). Our primary research questions (using 1990 PUMS data) are: (1) how are patterns of racial identification affected by characteristics of the child and his/her parents, the household, and community, and (2) what are the primary differences in the determinants of racial identification between multiracial Native Hawaiians, American Indian, and Asian American children?. Our analyses sheds some light on the processes of racial identity amongst multiracial individuals. Also, our comparison of racial identification processes among different multiracial groups allows us to generalize from specifically predictive factors (such as residence in Hawaii) to find more theoretically useful patterns (such as a minority parent's personal connection to a cultural sanctuary).

Presented in Session 45: Challenges and Opportunities of Multiple Race Identification