Interracial America: How Society Views Interracial Families

Read Complete Research Material

Interracial America: How society views interracial families


The numbers of interracial marriages in America have increased, more than tenfold between 1970 and 2000. The percentage of interracial couples grew from under 1 percent in 2000 to more than 5 percent of the estimated 57 million couples recorded in the 2000 census. This percentage has produced an increase from 300,000 interracial couples in 1970 to more than 3 million in 2000. In addition, the number of children living in homes headed by interracial parents has quadrupled in that time frame to more than 3 million. This increase in interracial dating and marriage has been attributed to progress in civil rights, increased immigration, higher education opportunities, and the increased amount of social contact with people of other races. Due to the rise in interracial relationships it is important to study interracial couples to gain knowledge and insight into how these types of relationships develop and function. The purpose of this analysis is to explore relational tensions interracial couples face due to race and discover ways couples manage these tensions. The current study will provide a rationale for this research.

Interracial Marriages

A major issue surrounding the rise of interracial couples is a lack of research on how interracial couples maintain their relationships despite many of their family members, friends, and the public, not accepting the union. A great deal of the academic research that exists on interracial relationships has explored the interracial relationship dissolution process and failure of interracial marriages along with the types of racism interracial couples face.

Society and Interracial Marriages

Interracial relationships and marriages are becoming more acceptable and more common in U.S. society, and the number of interracial children is steadily increasing. Social workers encounter such children in foster care, adoptive care, schools, and caseloads. Historically, these children viewed as having the same identity as their minority parent and the same needs as other minority children. This attitude is changing, and school social workers need to respond to these changes. This article discusses current knowledge about interracial children and their families and suggests ways social workers can best respond to the individual needs of this population (Gullickson, pp. 108-289). Interracial children constitute an increasing proportion of social services program clients. According to the U.S. Census, there were 799,000 interracial marriages in 1987, of which 177,000 were marriages of black and white people (U.S. Census Regional Library, Denver, CO, personal communication, March 21, 1991). The census figures do not include interracial marriages that end in divorce or unmarried interracial couples. Because census and federal forms and school records do not classify children of mixed parentage as a separate category, the exact number of these children is unknown. Who are these children? What are their needs? Are their needs different from those of other minority children? How do parents of interracial children view their children's identity? What do the parents see as their children's fundamental needs? And how should school social workers respond to interracial children and their parents? This article reviews the issues facing ...
Related Ads