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Colonialism and Carceral Motherhood:Native Hawaiian Families Under Corrections and Child Welfare Control

Colonialism and Carceral Motherhood:Native Hawaiian Families Under Corrections and Child Welfare Control

Abstract

This article uses data from Hawai`i as a case study to illustrate overlapping, racialized, and gendered regimes of state power in the contemporary post-welfare, neo-liberal political environment. Native Hawaiian families, as a legacy of colonialism, are especially at risk as targets of this control due to strategies of regulation and control coincident with the rise of neo-liberal politics. In this policy environment, penal and welfare practices attempt to shift the responsibility for structural disadvantage onto individuals in marginalized populations, while extending the state's power to police families among a broader network of kin. This article contributes to the literature on gendered state regulation and neo-liberal governance by illustrating patterns of criminalization and expanding child welfare control in this marginalized population.
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