Two UH Hilo students present paper at sociology conference

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Date: Tuesday, April 18, 2006
Contact: Alyson Kakugawa-Leong, (808) 974-7642

For Immediate Release

Two University of Hawaii at Hilo students presented a paper titled “Native Hawaiian Perceptions of Violence as a Means to Attain Sovereignty” at the 27th Annual Meeting of Hawai`i Sociological Association on April 1. The paper, co-written and presented by sociology major Erica Burt and political science major Brittany Smart, was the results of an in-class research project conducted this semester in SOC 494, Senior Seminar on Terrorism, taught by Dr. Thom Curtis, UH Hilo associate professor of sociology.

The students’ paper analyzed combined data from two waves of in-depth interviews with Native Hawaiian adults of various ages regarding sovereignty and the likelihood that violence will ultimately be used as a tool to regain that goal. While subjects of this pilot study varied in beliefs regarding sovereignty and the appropriateness of violence to attain Native Hawaiian goals, most believed that the struggle would eventually result in acts of violence toward the state or its economy.

The conference was attended by sociologists from Hawai`i and a number of other states. Of the dozen research papers presenters at the conference, only Burt and Smart were undergraduate students. The other presenters were faculty members or graduate students from several different universities.

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