Colonizing Hawai'i: The Cultural Power of Law

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Princeton University Press, 2000 - History - 371 pages
2 Reviews

How does law transform family, sexuality, and community in the fractured social world characteristic of the colonizing process? The law was a cornerstone of the so-called civilizing process of nineteenth-century colonialism. It was simultaneously a means of transformation and a marker of the seductive idea of civilization. Sally Engle Merry reveals how, in Hawai'i, indigenous Hawaiian law was displaced by a transplanted Anglo-American law as global movements of capitalism, Christianity, and imperialism swept across the islands. The new law brought novel systems of courts, prisons, and conceptions of discipline and dramatically changed the marriage patterns, work lives, and sexual conduct of the indigenous people of Hawai'i.

  

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Review: Colonizing Hawai'i:The Cultural Power of Law

User Review  - Blake - Goodreads

Good narative to the legal aspects of our pre-tourism era on controlling Hawaii. Before it was the land of Hula and surfing, our attempts to "civilize" manifested in legal terms which this book ruthlessy disects. Read full review

Review: Colonizing Hawai'i:The Cultural Power of Law

User Review  - kacie - Goodreads

I'm a huge fan of Merry's, and I'm thrilled to be reading this while in Hilo. She does a great job with explaining the complexities of western law in Hawaii - as a necessary tool of colonialism and ... Read full review

Contents

Introduction
3
ENCOUNTERS IN A CONTACT ZONE NEW ENGLAND MISSIONARIES LAWYERS AND THE APPROPRIATION OF ANGLOAMERICAN LA...
33
The Process of Legal Transformation
35
The First Transition Religious Law
63
The Second Transition Secular Law
86
LOCAL PRACTICES OF POLICING AND JUDGING IN HILO HAWAII
115
The Social History of a Plantation Town
117
Judges and Caseloads in Hilo
145
Sexuality Marriage and the Management of the Body
221
Conclusions
258
Cases from Hilo District Court
269
Accompanying Tables
325
Notes
331
References
349
Index
365
Copyright

Protest and the Law on the Hilo Sugar Plantations
207

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About the author (2000)

Professor of Anthropology and Law and Society at New York University.

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