Sylvia Junko Yanagisako

Grant Type

Post PhD Research Grant

Institutional Affiliation

Stanford U.

Grant number

Gr. 10482

Approve Date

April 6, 2023

Project Title

Yanagisako, Sylvia (Stanford U.) "Between High and Low Water Marks: Family Legacies and Sea Level Rise in Hawai`i"

This study investigates whether and how family legacies and ideas about kinship, inheritance, and property shape the ways in which people in Hawai`i respond to sea level rise, beach loss, and seashore management policies. It will inquire, conversely, whether and how, in responding to the challenges of sea level rise, people revise their ideas about kinship, inheritance and property, and their notions of private and public property and the boundary between them. Included in ‘family legacies’ are not only family histories of property ownership, but also family histories of seashore usage, including recreational use and food gathering. From July 2023 to July 2024, I will conduct ethnographic research, focusing on four residential seashore communities that face imminent damage due to sea level rise. I will interview residents in these communities and engage in participant observation by attending community events, including homeowner association meetings, neighborhood celebrations, public school meetings, public hearings relevant to seashore management, and political gatherings. I will also study a stratified sample of property owners on Oahu and the Big Island who have submitted applications for seashore variances in the past ten years.