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Creating the Nisei MarketRace and Citizenship in Hawaii's Japanese American Consumer Culture$
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Shiho Imai

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780824833329

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824833329.001.0001

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Competing Visions of Nisei Consumer Culture

Competing Visions of Nisei Consumer Culture

(p.88) Chapter Four Competing Visions of Nisei Consumer Culture
Creating the Nisei Market

Shiho Imai

University of Hawai'i Press

This chapter examines competing visions of Nisei consumer culture in 1930s Honolulu. In particular, it considers how different groups within the community, from the ethnic press to Nisei sociologists and Nisei high school students, attempted to influence Nisei consumer behavior according to their respective ideals. The chapter first discusses juvenile delinquency and the problem of “youth” in Honolulu during the 1930s before exploring how the interests of the more privileged Japanese Americans became closely intertwined with those of the Department of Public Instruction, whose initiatives such as the promotion of hobbies and thrift helped to standardize leisure and consumption habits among Honolulu's ethnic youths. It also reviews sociological studies that document urban Nisei youth culture and concludes by looking at the “Back to the Plantations” campaign launched by the Bureau of Leisure Activities and Self-Help to enable young people to engage in craft and recreational work with an eye to reducing delinquency and poverty.

Keywords:   consumer culture, Honolulu, Nisei, consumer behavior, juvenile delinquency, Japanese Americans, Department of Public Instruction, hobbies, thrift, plantations

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