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Normative Ideals, “Alternative” Realities: Perceptions of Interracial Dating among Professional Latinas and Black Women

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  • Rocio Garcia

    () (Department of Sociology, University of California Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1551, USA)

Abstract

Family types continue to expand in the U.S., yet normative patterns of endogamy and the privileging of nuclear families persist. To understand how professional women of color navigate endogamy and family ideals, I draw on 40 in-depth interviews of professional Black women and Latinas to ask how they construct partner preferences. I find that professional Latinas and Black women prefer same-race, similarly educated partners but report significant barriers to satisfying these desires. Respondents’ experiences with racism, the rejection of ethno-racial and cultural assimilation, gendered racism from men of color, and the college gender gap emerge as mechanisms for endogamous preferences. These preferences resist and support hegemonic family formation, an ideological and behavioral process that privileges, white, middle class, endogamous, heteronormative ideals for families comprising courtship, marriage, and biological childbearing. By challenging the racial devaluation of people of color while preferring the normativity that endogamy offers, the women in this study underscore the fluidity embedded in endogamy.

Suggested Citation

  • Rocio Garcia, 2015. "Normative Ideals, “Alternative” Realities: Perceptions of Interracial Dating among Professional Latinas and Black Women," Societies, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 5(4), pages 1-24, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:gam:jsoctx:v:5:y:2015:i:4:p:807-830:d:59066
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Christine Schwartz & Robert Mare, 2005. "Trends in educational assortative marriage from 1940 to 2003," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 42(4), pages 621-646, November.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    family formation; interracial dating; Latinas; Black women; intersectionality;

    JEL classification:

    • A13 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Relation of Economics to Social Values
    • A14 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Sociology of Economics
    • P - Economic Systems
    • P0 - Economic Systems - - General
    • P1 - Economic Systems - - Capitalist Systems
    • P2 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Systems and Transition Economies
    • P3 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Institutions and Their Transitions
    • P4 - Economic Systems - - Other Economic Systems
    • P5 - Economic Systems - - Comparative Economic Systems
    • Z1 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics

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