View of White Women in Interracial Relationships Essay Example
View of White Women in Interracial Relationships Essay Example

View of White Women in Interracial Relationships Essay Example

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  • Pages: 8 (3771 words)
  • Published: July 31, 2017
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A Qualitative Analysis of Black Women 's Constructions of White Women in Interracial Relationships. Research, particularly media discourses suggest and show that black adult females have a negative discourse towards white adult females who have interracial relationships. Therefore this exploratory qualitative survey used focal point groups to look into how black adult females construct interracial relationships and white adult females who have interracial relationships. Social constructionist guided the discourse theory methodological analysis. Participants described...

Since the 1980s societal constructionism has become an progressively influential position within psychological science ( e.g. , Burr, 1995 ) . Social constructionism suggests that human experience, including perceptual experience is mediated historically, culturally and linguistically ( Willig, 2007 ) . Therefore for this survey, it is of import to understand gender and race historically, besides black and white brotherhoods within a historical context.

Interracial dealingss in a historical context, the building of race and multiculturalism

Historically, interracial brotherhoods have played an built-in function in the building of racial classs. Interracial sex and matrimony became aberrant within the building of a white individuality that was in resistance to inkinesss. The implicit in footing for interracial gender as pervert being the claim that inkinesss and Whites are biologically and culturally different. An of import portion of this construct of race is based on black people 's experiences, buildings and discourses approximately Whites as menaces to racial pureness ( Childs, 2005 ) .

The issue of interracial sex and matrimony is an built-in portion of the building of race


and racial groups, with the resistance to and the fright of interracial relationships frequently used as a agency to put to death and warrant racialist political orientations and patterns. Therefore, Ideas of race as biological difference emerged with bondage, as a justification. So both the building of white/black relationships as debatable, and the maltreatment seen during bondage, can be seen as emerging along with altering discourses of race.

During black bondage, among white peoples interracial sexual relationships was constructed as pervert, and this thought of deviancy was chiefly aimed at forestalling black male slaves from prosecuting in sexual Acts of the Apostless with white adult females. It has been documented that those who did prosecute in interracial sexual relationships would be punished. However, for black people there is a complicated and painful history to black and white interracial relationships, as a consequence the roots of the ill will are different from white people. The discourses on interracial relationships are complex.

The ill will that black communities may hold to guard interracial relationships derives from a societal and corporate 'memory ' of misdemeanor by Whites. Historically inkinesss as a group have had to cover with the devaluation by Whites and this in bend has effectual black 's individuality which has as a consequence shaped the attitudes and responses to interracial relationships. It has been good documented that black adult females were allegedly despoiled and sexually abused by white slave Masterss who all play a immense portion in the sociohistorical building of race and the regulations of race dealingss ( Childs, 2005 ) .

Social constructionist propose that the construct of race, for illustration the belief that th

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categorization based on skin coloring material and other skin deep belongingss like organic structure form or hair manner maps onto meaningful, of import biological sorts which is a pseudo biological construct that has been used to warrant and rationalize the unequal intervention of groups of people or others ( Machery & A ; Faucher 2005 ) .

Social constructionism became prevailing chiefly in the 1970s. It became recognised that the biological construct of races, that is, of population of conspecifics that are genetically and morphologically different from each other, could non be applied to human. Delegating an person to a race does non purchase the illative power you are normally warranted to anticipate from a biological sort term. Besides, categorizations based on different traits such as skin coloring material, organic structure form hair etc normally cross cut each other ( Brown & A ; Armelagos 2001 ) . Therefore, the racist dogma that skin coloring material and other skin deep belongingss pick up different biological groups has been assumed to be false.

Therefore, biological science has fuelled the recent racial agnosticism of societal constructionists, that is, the position that races do non be. But societal constructionists about race are non mere skeptics. They normally underscore the instability and diverseness of human existences ' construct of races. For case Omi and Winant ( 2002 ) province that attempt must be made to understand race as an unstable and 'decentered ' complex of societal significances invariably being transformed by political battle.

Banton ( 1970 ) suggest that this impression is a modern intercession, rooted in the 18th century taxonomies of Linnaeus and Blumenbach, for them, there were times or topographic points where people did non hold any construct of race ( Machery & A ; Faucher 2005 ) . The constructionist part to the apprehension of racism is of import. It suggests that person 's construct of race do non happen in a societal vacuity: societal environment are of import to explicate the construct of our construct of race. This helps to place the diverseness of person 's construct of race across civilizations.

There has been turning literature in evolutionary psychological science and evolutionary anthropology about racism. Although no consensus has yet emerged, several proposals have late attempted to depict the implicit in cognitive mechanism responsible for the production of racial constructs ( e.g. , Hirschfield, 2001 ; White, 2001 ; Machery & A ; Faucher 2005 ) . The two latter attacks are both a needed addendum to the societal constructionist attack. The return of racial categorization across civilizations and the commonalities between them suggest that racial categorizations are the merchandise of some cosmopolitan psychological temperament.

There is much literature that addresses the issue of interracial relationships and matrimonies specifically, for illustration both quantitative and qualitative methods have been implemented. Interracial heterosexual relationships have been explored from many point of views. Qualitative research has been conducted on black work forces and white adult females interracial twosomes ( McNamara, Tempenis, & A ; Walton 1999 ; Rosenblatt, Karis, & A ; Powell 1995 ; Spickard 1989 ) and quantitative informations of black and white attitudes towards interracial

dating ( Davis & A ; Smith 1991 ) .

Social scientific disciplines have focused on how and why interracial twosomes have come together, the demographic similarities and differences and the comparings of interracial relationship compared with same race relationships ( Davis 1941 ; Gaines et Al. 1999 ) . Davis ( 1941 ) article trades with interrelatedness between matrimony and dramatis personae and Gains ( 1991 ) research is concerned with the differences between secure and insecure persons among both sexes in heterosexual interracial twosomes.

Qualitative surveies of interracial relationships has focused on the positions, experiences and sentiments of the twosomes and their relationships with society and the community ( McNamara et al 1999 ; Root 2001 ) Some research workers have suggested that the figure of twosomes, although increasing has remained little because of the deficiency of credence. It has been found that cultural minority communities at times consider minority persons that pair with spouses as `` race treasonists '' or whitewashed '' ( Pan, 2000 ) .

Yet, there is small research on the ways that interracial twosomes are socially constructed and the social responses from black adult females 's towards interracial relationships. Existing research on interracial relationships show that they do non look at analyzing race as a altering socio historical construct and concept. Research workers have studied interracial relationships without first admiting race and racial groups as socially constructed and capable to alter and conflict alternatively they reproduce the thought of race as existent and a natural phenomenon. While the latter literature reappraisal has provided of import positions on understanding interracial relationships, the current survey is different as the survey places an importance on social responses to interracial relationships from the voices of British black adult females.

Evolved Cognition and Ethnicity and Culture: Cultural Transmission

Ethnicity and civilization are related phenomena and bear no intrinsic connexion to human biological fluctuations or race. Ethnicity refers to constellate of people who have common civilization traits that they distinguish from those of other people. Peoples who portion a common linguistic communication, geographic venue or topographic point of beginning, faith or sense of history, traditional values, values and so on, are perceived, and view themselves as constituting, an cultural group ( e.g. , Jones,1997 & A ; Smedley 1999 ) . However, harmonizing to Smedley and Smedley ( 2005 ) cultural groups and ethnicity are non fixed, bounded entities, they are flexible and unfastened to alter and they are normally self defined ( Barth, 1998 )

Theories of cultural transmittal provide the proper model for incorporating the two chief traditions in the survey of racism ( Richerson & A ; Boyd, 2004 ) . The thought is that many beliefs, penchants, concluding spiels are socially learned. Similar to the traditional societal acquisition theory, they are acquired from 1s societal environment signifier an persons cultural parents for case ( Boyd & A ; Richerson, 1985 ) .

Harmonizing to Machery & A ; Faucher ( 2005 ) race is culturally transmitted, which lines with societal constructionist trust on traditional theories of societal is larning, that is, with the thought that the construct of race is acquired from

an person 's societal environment. This in bend gives accounts as to why a civilization, at a clip, people tend to hold the same construct of race. This besides explains why different civilizations at different times have endorsed the same constructs.

The Social Construction of Interracial Couples

The thoughts of race has been green goodss and reproduced though the building of racial groups and societal interaction, which had led to effects in beliefs and patterns. Therefore the images and intending attached to black and white relationships are non merely produced by the black adult females but are instead constructed, socially, culturally, politically in their society and by the changing societal groups ( Childs, 2005 ) . Therefore the black adult females 's apprehension of their ain individualities are shaped by the responses of others and the images of how black adult females oppose to interracial relationships in which exists.

Unnatural discourse

In British civilization interracial dealingss is probelematised. 'Interracial sex ' is treated as a job. Recent movies such as Jungle Fever, Bodyguard and Rising Sun have portrayed interracial sexual dealingss as Acts of the Apostless of aberrance ( Mencke, 1976 ) . These narrations have been accompanied by terrible moral lessons about destructive nature of such brotherhoods, which frequently damage non merely the lives of the character but their household and friends excessively. Whatever the state of affairs, the consolidative component of such popular representation is that interracial relationships do non work.

Academia contention frequently surrounds the culturally important discourse of scientific discipline. This has been used overtime to warrant a battalion of dockets, non least of which has been to guarantee a moral statement for bondage and the conquering of the New World. Infused with impressions borrowed from Darwin 's theories of development and natural choice, frights expressed in such Hagiographas have typically been grounded on impressions of 'purity ' and 'degeneration ' of races through 'mixing ' of blood. Typically, research workers conclude that participants in interracial dealingss are aberrant, rebellious or rejected by their racial group ( Buttny, 1987 ; Muhsam, 1990 ) , it is clear that racial classs are bounded within dianoetic concepts that make any evildoing appear unnatural, if non incorrect.

Sexual dealingss between black work forces and white adult females have by and large been located in the discourses of the unnatural. Sex between races has been constructed as evildoing. Saxton ( 1995 ) argues that race believing remainders on category foundation, and it is besides the instance that political orientations of racism, one articulated, take on a life of their ain and presume many contested and varied signifiers. Hooks ( 1990 ) puts frontward, that our effort to destabilize the naturalized discourses that define and construct 'race ' and gender is confounded by linguistic communication ( Tyner & A ; Houston, 2000 ) .

Maping a discourse

The current discourse against interracial relationships includes the followers. First, it entails a scope of racialised malenesss and images of what it means to be a adult male differentiated by race and category and at times pulling in racist stereotypes of the 19th and 20th century 's. Secondly white muliebrity is racialised

; white adult females who choose interracial relationships are constructed as sexually 'loose ' or sexually extremist. Third, the discourse generates a position interracial relationship as offending fixed racial or cultural boundaries. These three elements presuppose a 4th, the thought of race as explained before as a fixed and indispensable axis of distinction and sixth, the thought of cultural differences is tied to 'race ' and biological belonging ( Frankenberg, 1993 ) .

Social Construction of Black adult females, Black Femininity, Gender and Mixed race as Ideal 

Research on the issues of black adult females 's, visual aspect and the matrimony market is besides of import ( Childs, 2000 ) . Morrison ( 1972 ) wrote that there are lay waste toing effects of relentless European ideals of beauty on the self image of black adult females. While light tegument inkinesss are evaluated as more attractive and more winning in footings of income and employment ( Hughes & A ; Hertel, 1990 ) . This of class plays a immense function in the manner that black adult females construct interracial dating and specifically the 'white adult females ' since the favoritism based on skin coloring material may be associated with the determination to day of the month interracially as a privileging of lighter tegument and the lightest tegument of all white ( Russell, Wilson & A ; Hall 1993 ; Childs 2005 ) .

It is of import to understand that there are a double set of myths which distinguishes the building of black adult females from other groups. The societal building of race is dependent on gender classification and the societal building of gender is dependent on racial classifications. This procedure of utilizing race to specify gender has a long standing history. Harmonizing to White ( 2001 ) he argues that 19th century scientists frequently used race to explicate gender and gender to explicate race.

The consequence of this is the segregation between groups of persons based on their race and genders ; where some groups are portrayed as dominant and 'normal ' and others as subsidiary are based on societal building, the effects of this is existent and determines the power dealingss both between and within groups. In an attempt to keep these power dealingss and constructions, cultural myths and symbols which are chiefly based on stereotypes are employed. And as such, cultural symbols of black muliebrity service to dissemble as normalise the unjust place of black adult females.

As a consequence of rushing gendering, black adult females find themselves marginalised on two foreparts, race and gender. They are margin isled because they are non white. This marginalization occurs on two degrees, the first being that there is a building of black adult females in relation to white work forces. Second, there is the building of black adult females in relation to white adult females. Overtime clip, these multiple marginalization 's resulted in the development and renovation of a figure if cultural symbols and icon used to stand for black muliebrity ( Zachery, 2009 ) .

Dominant discourses: Now

Interracial sexual relationships remain controversial both in the United Sates and the United Kingdom. Analyzing the

discourse on interracial relationships brings a scope of issues cardinal to groking the impact of racism both on black adult females 's experience and worldview and on societal administration more loosely.

Interracial relationships continue to be a societal issue in the black communities. Most black- white relationships involve a black adult male and white adult females harmonizing to the UK nose count. Harmonizing to Collins ( 2000 ) `` black adult females remain called upon to accept and love the assorted race kids born to brothers friends and relations... who at the same clip frequently represent touchable reminders of their ain rejection ( 2000, 195 ) . Dickson ( 1993 ) suggest that interracial relationships between black work forces and white adult females along with the high slaying rates in black communities, and degrees of captivity are viewed as the beginning of the deficit of `` good '' black work forces.

Although statistics show that there is an addition in black - white interracial relationships and matrimonies, the resistances to these relationships have non needfully disappeared. No affair how these relationships are viewed, what are interesting about them are the responses they receive from black adult females. An in deepness analysis on black British adult females 's buildings on heterosexual interracial relationships will supply a better apprehension of this phenomenon. Therefore this undertaking will look specifically expression at the manner in which British black adult females respond to interracial relationships and specifically their buildings towards white adult females who have interracial relationships.

The undertaking will look at the manner black adult females construct interracial relationtions by inquiring them about their attitudes and their beliefs of interracial relationships, and popular civilization and media word pictures. I will discourse the images and discourses that have been constructed about interracial relationships and how these images and discourses contribute to the building and care of how black adult females construct white adult females who have interracial relationships. I approach the survey of interracial relationships, understanding these interracial brotherhoods as socially constructed. It is of import to understand that this will non be a countrywide representative survey of attitudes, beliefs or happenings that can be generalised. Rather this undertaking provides an ethnographic expression at black adult females 's buildings through in depth focal point groups


I recruited my participant by passing out a recruitment sheet outside talks. The recruitment missive explained the nature of the survey and if the pupil wished to take part in the survey to delight reach me. My participants were either pupils at London Southbank University or known to me personally. Their age ranged from 16- 45, all of my participants were Black British adult females ; All of my participants were born in Britain. It was made clear to all of the participants that they could retreat from the survey at anytime.


Dianoetic analysis provides an ideal chance for analyzing political orientation in psychological science. In the 1970s the materialisation of a 'new paradigm ' in societal psychological science occurred. New paradigm research workers called for a 'turn to linguistic communication ' which was inspired by theories and research which had emerged from other subjects.

This bend to linguistic communication was the scene of the outgrowth during the 1980s, in societal and developmental psychological science and in other major parts of psychological science ( Parker, 2005 ) .

Surveies such as Henrique 's et Al, ( 1984 ) illustrated how linguistic communication that is spoken can be organised as forms of discourse. Discourse had a theoretical footing in the societal constructionist attack ( e.g. , Burr, 2003 ) . The societal constructionist positions purpose was that understanding the survey of human interaction and the lingual communicating is of importance. Harmonizing to dianoetic psychological science, linguistic communication does non simply express experiences, instead, linguistic communication besides constitutes experiences and the subjective, psychological world ( Potter & A ; Wetherell 1987 ; Shotter 1993 ; Wetherell 1995 ) ; hence, building of 'social world ' through the usage of linguistic communication enables discourse analysis to come approximately.

This societal procedure sustains this cognition through societal interactions ( Burr, 1995 ) discourse can change and accommodate overtime ; hence, discourse are historically and culturally identifiable and is analysed through the linguistic communication employed in the societal interactions. This method is what I thought is best suited for my concluding twelvemonth undertaking as I was non looking for the participants personal experiences but instead how the participants construct inter-racial relationships and white adult females who have inter-racial relationships.

Potter and Wetherell ( 1987 ) introduced discourse to derive a better apprehension of societal texts through analyzing societal life and societal interactions. Its purpose was to size up discourse through analyzing verbal and written communicating. A figure of subjects are common in discourse analysis - these include rhetoric, voice, terms, dianoetic repertories and the dialogical nature of talk. Potter and Wetherell 1987 ; Wetherell & A ; Potter 1992 provided some of the best work on societal psychological science. It was developed as an analysis of racialist interpretative repertory. This entail suggested how discourse maps ideologically. For illustration a discourse of heterosexualism defines what is aberrant.

The pattern of discourse analysis involves a scope of processs designed to promote the research workers to treat and recycle their stuff these include written text, coding and recoding. Harmonizing to Potter ( 2003 ) , 'Discourse analysis is the survey of how to speak and texts are used to execute actions ' . He suggested that discourse analysis research should center on four facets. How linguistic communication signifiers and constructs histories on societal 'things ' ; how actions and societal patterns are achieved through linguistics ; the political orientations of a peculiar societal action, and, looking at psychological constructs through discourse. Therefore this method will be used to analyze the transcript.

Black adult females 's buildings towards interracial relationships and white adult females who have interracial relationships ; Transcript of two focal point group treatments between immature black adult females will be analysed. An scrutiny of the text will be scrutinised closely, known as cryptography ( Potter & A ; Wetherell, 1987 ) coding helps to choose relevant information from the text. However, there will ever be parts of discourse in which can non be analysed ; therefore

the same text can be analysed once more, bring forthing farther penetration ( Potter & A ; Wetherell, 1987 ; Wetherell & A ; Potter 1992 ; Willig 1995, 1997, 1998 ) the information will analyze any cardinal discourse that show from the informations and how the information concepts that. The discourse analysis will besides nail any interpretative repertories ( Gilbert, Mulkay, 1984 ) and instances that occur in the text. This will necessitate reading and re- reading the transcript, doing assorted notes and coding gathered by the repertories.


The procedure of enrolling participants was non hard, chiefly because some of the participants were known personally to me and that I besides recruited LSBU pupils, hence the participants were easy accessible. Acerate leaf to state, the adult females who took portion in the undertaking did so voluntarily. They besides knew they could decline to reply peculiar inquiries, or discontinue with the treatment at any given clip.

I advertised by passing out a engagement information sheet ( see Appendix A ) to several pupils. I gave them a brief overview of the survey and asked whether they would be interested in taking portion in the survey. Two focal point group treatments took topographic point in a private country in the LSBU library where they were all given consent signifiers to subscribe ( see Appendix B ) . Predetermined inquiries were asked and the procedure was recorded utilizing a tape recording equipment and Dictaphone.

Private affairs in respects to relationships were asked hence all participants were introduced to one another to guarantee that there was no uncomfortableness. The nature of the survey was explained to all the participants separately and within the focal point group treatment so that no offense was taken when the inquiries were asked amongst one another. I guided the focal point group to show both their sentiments and ideas on the topic at manus and ensured that the treatment did non travel off tangent, therefore restrictions were applied. I so subsequently transcribed the focal point group and drew out subjects that emerged from the treatment.