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Gateway StateHawai'i and the Cultural Transformation of American Empire$
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Sarah Miller-Davenport

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780691181233

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: January 2020

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691181233.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM PRINCETON SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.princeton.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Princeton University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in PRSO for personal use.date: 19 June 2021

The Power of Mutual Understanding

The Power of Mutual Understanding

Teaching “New Modes of Life” in the New Frontier

(p.79) 3 The Power of Mutual Understanding
Gateway State

Sarah Miller-Davenport

Princeton University Press

This chapter investigates how the idealistic imaginings of America's newest state were institutionalized through an effort to establish Hawaiʻi as a center for global educational exchange. Hawaiʻi statehood arrived at a moment when the United States was increasingly going beyond its borders to draw foreign peoples into its orbit. The East-West Center and the Peace Corps both enlisted Hawaiʻi in this effort by designating it as an ideal site for fostering mutual understanding, as a place where foreigners could be trained in American economic and cultural practices and where foreign ways could be demystified for Americans. These efforts would in turn win over people from the decolonizing world, whose racial and cultural differences were seen as obstacles to be conquered in the service of modernization. The ideas on intercultural communications developed at the East-West Center and the Peace Corps would eventually be taken up more broadly, notably by the military in its campaign to secure the allegiance of South Vietnamese peasants.

Keywords:   global educational exchange, East-West Center, Peace Corps, mutual understanding, modernization, intercultural communications

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