Social Process in Hawai‘i Special Issue

In 1920, the University of Hawai‘i hired Romanzo Adams as the first member of the sociology department.  A decade later, scholars from around the US were coming to Hawai‘i to study ethnic assimilation and race relations in the territory.  Key to the work of the department’s success was research carried out by students in sociology classes who acted as observers and informants providing qualitative data to support quantitative analysis.  Between the late 1920s and the early 1970s, hundreds of university students contributed their work – research papers, maps, observational journals, and autobiographical essays – resulting in a collection of over 10,000 items that are the foundation of the Romanzo Adams Social Research Laboratory (RASRL) collection in the University of Hawai‘i archives.

 Social Process in Hawaii was a product of this research.  The journal was conceived of, edited, and published by members of the undergraduate Sociology Club.  The journal published student work; students wrote more than fifty per-cent of the papers in the first nine issues.  Their work – what was published and what is in the archive – explored various aspects of social change in Hawai‘i:  assimilation, ethnic diversity, interracial relationships and marriage, and community conflict.   Their work also documented social and economic change in the urban neighborhoods and plantation towns of the territory.

 Social Process has been published regularly since 1935.  The journal publishes the work of local scholars, educators, and researchers from around the country interested in the changing dynamics of social relationships and community life in Hawai‘i.

 This special issue of Social Process will commemorate one hundred years of social research on the local community in Hawai‘i  in three ways:  a review of the historical context that produced the work of this early generation of professional and student scholars; community studies broadly defined as work pertaining to the historical development of or contemporary changes to neighborhoods and towns especially on the neighbor islands; and examinations of current understandings of race, ethnicity and local culture, especially those that capture and explore the on-going struggle of Kanaka Māoli  for self-determination.  To that end we invite professionally trained and independent scholars, advanced undergraduate and graduate students, librarians and archivists, community members and activists to submit papers for this special issue to be published in 2020.   Papers may address any of a number of themes including but not limited to:

  • Territorial history, especially topics related to the inter-war period (1918-1941) and depression era, gender and sexuality, and the social, political and economic concerns of the Kanaka Māoli community
  • Education, especially the role of the University of Hawai‘i in educational and social policy and practices
  • Community studies, especially those that place Hawai‘i in a global  context
  • Activism related to environmental, social, or political movements.

 We encourage a critical approach, but in keeping with the spirit of the journal are interested in submissions that are accessible to a general audience, (free from jargon or an over reliance on theory), and concentrate on local issues, problems and ideas.  We encourage submissions that think comparatively about the past and present but are particularly interested in papers that creatively illuminate the territorial era.  We also encourage submissions that highlight collaborative work between faculty, students, and community members.

Please submit abstracts of no more than 250 words by July 1, 2018 to: