Posted July 14, Intimate interracial relationships have long been considered indicative of the social interracial relationships in belleterre between groups, a barometer for gauging race relations.
Social distance describes the feelings of similarity and closeness, or dissimilarity and rejection, interracial relationships in belleterre members of a group have toward members of some other group Bogardus ; Simmel Increasing rates of interracial and interethnic marriage —from about 7 percent in to interracial relationships in belleterre percent in Pew Research —are therefore indicative of improved race relations.
Still, rates of interracial marriage remain much lower than would exist if race were irrelevant to partner choice. Given the relative scarcity of interracial relationships, sociologists have long sought to explain why they happen. That is, how and why do some couples overcome the substantial barriers to such unions? This is generally conceived of as a gendered exchange in which white women achieve upward mobility by marrying socioeconomically-advantaged minority men.
If these exchanges occur, the resulting unions might undermine racial boundaries by uniting an interracial couple and generating mixed-race children, but they would also reinforce racial inequality by affirming that minority status is undesirable—presumably, the white partner would not accept a minority suitor unless tempted by the promise of upward socioeconomic mobility or easy sex.
Engaging in race-status exchange means that both partners perceive whiteness as better and more desirable—which implies at least some degree of internalized racism. Yet it seems intuitive that it is the least racist individuals who would be most likely to enter interracial unions. Indeed, politically conservative individuals including minorities express the strongest preference for white partners Eastwick et al.
In general, interracial daters are less traditional and more politically and culturally progressive Fitzpatrick, Sharp, and Reifman ; Herman and Campbell ; Yancey In fact, much of the evidence seemingly in support of race-status exchange theory may actually result from miss-specified statistical models Rosenfeld In fact, interracial couples like other couples tend toward similarity in socioeconomic status e. While I do not deny that social exchange may be a factor in romantic relationshipsI think it is time that researchers reconsider the assumptions underlying their theoretical explanations.
Or might they believe that in racial equality? Or might the white men also be good-looking? And might not women want sex too? Bogardus, Emory S. Eastwick, Paul W. Richeson, Deborah Son, and Eli J. Political Orientation and Interracial Romantic Desire.
Gullickson, Aaron. Gullickson, Aaron and Vincent Kang Fu. Herman, Melissa R. Hou, Fend and John Myles. Kalmijn, Matthijs. McClintock, Elizabeth Aura. Qian, Zhenchao. Rosenfeld, Michael J. Simmel, Georg. Yancey, George A. Elizabeth Aura McClintock, Ph. Elizabeth Aura McClintock Ph. Relationships Understanding Interracial Relationships Are interracial relationships mercenary exchanges or unions interracial relationships in belleterre equality?
Posted July 14, Share. Relationships Essential Reads. Do Opposites Attract? Interracial relationships in belleterre the Author. More from Psychology Today. Interracial relationships in belleterre Psychology Today. Back Find a Therapist. Back Get Help. Mental Health. Personal Growth. Family Life. View Help Index. Do I Need Help? Talk to Someone. Back Magazine. January Overcome burnout, your burdens, and that endless to-do list.
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