Master of Public Administration (MPA)
Professor William Thompson
Number of Pages
This paper explores the relationship between culture and political behavior through an investigation of those Japanese Americans who were denied due process and imprisoned during World War Two simply for being of Japanese descent. Military necessity was the reason cited for the government's action, although racism, war hysteria and economic competition also played a major role.
At the time there was a general belief among Caucasian Americans that the Japanese in America had avoided Americanization and could not be trusted to participate in democratic processes. It was suggested that their political and civic culture was an obstacle to the achievement of democratic aspirations.
Using an approach similar to that pioneered by Almond and Verba in their 1963 study of five nations, this research explores the political and civic culture of the Japanese American Evacuees and argues that the skills required for meaningful participation in political and civic networks were present in the Japanese Americans, but went unrecognized.
The study concludes by finding no substantiation of the claim that the Japanese in America were then, or are now either un-Americanized or politically incompetent in a democracy.
Americanization; Civic duty; Cultural differences; Democratic ideals; Japanese-Americans; Japanese internment camps; Japanese relocation camps; Racism; United States; War World II
Political History | Public Administration | Social History | United States History
Atkinson, Allen, "Democracy behind barbed wire: Examining the political culture of Japanese American Evacuees" (1998). UNLV Theses, Dissertations, Professional Papers, and Capstones. 180.