Race and Ethnicity; Racial Identities; Public Sociology; Race and Racism; Social Inequality; Criminal Justice and Corrections; Social Policy; Employment Inequality
Our history and politics shape the way we define and understand race, and construct dominant ideologies and racist discourses. The purpose of this research is to investigate how these social constructs have impacted individuals in black/white interracial relationships and to understand the methods used by these couples to respond to societal opposition to their unions. I am particularly interested in black/white interracial relationships because they elicit the most rejection and opposition by the public. In fact, neurological and implicit bias tests demonstrate that the “disgust response” in the brain is triggered and dehumanization occurs when participants view black/white interracial couples. The historical and political racial divide has placed and maintained the position of black and white people on opposite ends of the colour spectrum, making their mixing appear to many as somewhat unnatural.
There are four main objectives of this study which proceed from the main research question. I plan to explore how individuals in interracial marriages i) perceive their own identity in the relationship; ii) understand and deal with race and racism; iii) reinforce or reconstruct socially constructed racial divisions; iv) assist their mixed race children in interpreting, negotiating, and determining their own racial identity; and v) reassure each other and establish trust with within the relationship. Since the United States and Canada have had different historical and political experiences, I will explore whether these influences have impacted black/white interracial couples differently.
I hold a BA in sociology from the University of Alberta and an MA in Sociology from the University of Calgary. In my Master’s research, I examined the Canadian federally regulated industries to determine if there were significant gains made in employment equity for the four designated groups (women, people with disabilities, “Aboriginal people”, and “visible minorities”) named in the Employment Equity Act.
Supervisor: Wendy Roth