This article was edited by Ralph LaRossa.
Interethnic Romantic Relationships: Enacting Affiliative Ethnic Identities
Article first published online: 24 SEP 2012
Copyright © National Council on Family Relations, 2012
Journal of Marriage and Family
Volume 74, Issue 5, pages 1021–1037, October 2012
How to Cite
Yodanis, C., Lauer, S. and Ota, R. (2012), Interethnic Romantic Relationships: Enacting Affiliative Ethnic Identities. Journal of Marriage and Family, 74: 1021–1037. doi: 10.1111/j.1741-3737.2012.01005.x
- Issue published online: 24 SEP 2012
- Article first published online: 24 SEP 2012
- interethnic relationships;
- mate selection;
- qualitative research
Through in-depth interviews with respondents who were in interethnic relationships (N = 28), the authors extended and refined a new approach to mate selection based on affiliative ethnic identities (T. Jimenez, 2010). Rather than assimilation and a breakdown of ethnic group boundaries, they found that people pursued interethnic relationships because of the ethnic differences they include. These relationships gave them access to an affiliate ethnic or multicultural identity. This perspective does not challenge but rather complements existing theories of mate selection, including the role of opportunity structures, exchange of benefits, and growing acceptance of or freedom to pursue interethnic relationships. Ethnic differences can remain central as people meet, fall in love, and marry across these differences.