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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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“What’s so p/funny?”

“What’s so p/funny?”

Chapter:
(p.49) Chapter 2 “What’s so p/funny?”
Source:
Building Filipino Hawai'i
Author(s):

Roderick N. Labrador

Publisher:
University of Illinois Press
DOI:10.5406/illinois/9780252038808.003.0003

This chapter critiques the idea of Hawaiʻi as a “multicultural paradise” and the production of Local by examining the popular practice of ethnic humor. It argues that Hawaiʻi ethnic humor is a space for the production of “Local knowledge(s)” and ideologies where identities are constructed and social order and racial hierarchy are enacted. It draws attention to the production of Local as a nonimmigrant identity, especially the ways in which Local comedians appropriate the voice of immigrant Filipinos through the use of Mock Filipino (or speaking English with a “Filipino accent”). Although understood as “innocent” and “harmless” joking in which “we can laugh at ourselves,” Hawaiʻi ethnic humor in general, and Mock Filipino in particular, simultaneously produce racially demeaning or “racially interested” discourses that uphold the positive self-image of Locals, especially their membership in Hawaiʻi's “racial paradise,” while lowering that of immigrant Filipinos.

Keywords:   comedy performances, immigrant Filipinos, Hawai'i, linguistic practices, multiculturalism, Mock Filipino, ethnic humor

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