High rates of intermarriage, especially with Whites, have been viewed as an indicator that Asian Americans are successfully "assimilating," signaling acceptance by the White majority and their own desire to become part of the White mainstream. Comparing two types of Asian American intermarriage, interracial and interethnic, Kelly H. Chong disrupts these assumptions by showing that both types of intermarriages, in differing ways, are sites of complex struggles around racial/ethnic identity and cultural formations that reveal the salience of race in the lives of Asian Americans.
Drawing upon extensive qualitative data, Chong explores how interracial marriages, far from being an endpoint of assimilation, are a terrain of life-long negotiations over racial and ethnic identities, while interethnic (intra-Asian) unions and family-making illuminate Asian Americans' ongoing efforts to co-construct and sustain a common racial identity and panethnic culture despite interethnic differences and tensions. Chong also examines the pivotal role race and gender play in shaping both the romantic desires and desirability of Asian Americans, spotlighting the social construction of love and marital choices.
Through the lens of intermarriage, Love Across Borders
offers critical insights into the often invisible racial struggles of this racially in-between "model minority" group -- particularly its ambivalent negotiations with whiteness and white privilege -- and on the group's social incorporation process and its implications for the redrawing of color boundaries in the U.S. "This book offers a compelling and unique portrait of intermarriage among Asian Americans, from the formation of interracial and interethnic relationships to their development over time. Reaching beyond the common stereotypes, the book offers a nuanced analysis of how race shapes experiences of love, intimacy and family for Asian Americans."
- Nazli Kibria, Professor of Sociology, Boston University
"In light of the growing debates about Asian Americans (and multiracial Asian/White people) comprising a kind of honorary White status in American society, this careful and nuanced book provides a fascinating account of how Asian Americans' negotiations with Whiteness is deeply ambivalent. By investigating both Asian Americans' interethnic and interracial unions, this book provides a groundbreaking understanding of the racial and ethnic fault lines in formation in the USA."
- Miri Song, Professor of Sociology, University of Kent
"In Love Across Borders
Love Across Borders