The islands of Hawaii are well-known for their unique level of racial heterogeneity and admixture, overt norms of racial tolerance and harmony, and temperate climate. Of central interest to the social scientist is the manner in which racial and cultural blending take place in such a complex society, particularly among those of mixed racial origin; Hawaii provides a social laboratory in which to study such processes in depth. This paper, viewing racial identity as an important index of intergroup relations, examines the racial identities and related reasons of forty high school adolescents in Hawaii in order to highlight controlling factors of the social environment.

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