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Building Filipino Hawai'i$
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Roderick N. Labrador

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780252038808

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252038808.001.0001

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Overlapping Architectures

Overlapping Architectures

(p.27) Chapter 1 Overlapping Architectures
Building Filipino Hawai'i

Roderick N. Labrador

University of Illinois Press

This chapter uses the Filipino Community Center as the primary analytical site to suggest that through the physical building itself, Filipinos discursively construct identity territorializations that map out a collective sense of place and a sense of self along political economic and ideological coordinates. The Filipino Community Center represents overlapping architectures, a type of historical and political economic layering whereby the contemporary late capitalist, transnational world anchored to a multiculturalist ideology is built on top of the industrial plantation-based agri-capitalist system dependent on the racialization of its workers, which itself is constructed on top of an indigenous, communal land rights-based mode of production. In other words, the Filipino Community Center depends on the so-called “sakada story,” a narrative of development that positions indigeneity (represented as the Hawaiian past), racialization (depicted as the exploitation of Asian and Hawaiian labor during the plantation era), and multiculturalism (portrayed as the contemporary period of liberal inclusion in which the various racial and ethnic groups share power) in a linear historical progression that corresponds with changes in Hawaiʻi's political economy and modes of production. In this way, the completion of the Filipino Community Center embodies a settler Filipino developmental narrative in which Waipahu (and by extension, Hawaiʻi) is constructed and claimed as a Filipino “home”.

Keywords:   Filipino Community Center, identity territorialization, Hawaiʻi, racialization, sakada story, indigeneity, multiculturalism

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