This introductory chapter lays out the foundations of this book's study, by first defining several keywords used throughout the text, then by exploring previous literature regarding intergroup couples and building up a conceptual framework (derived from feminist approaches to difference and interpersonal relationships) for the study. Moreover, this study uses a qualitative research method—in-depth personal interviews—to study intercultural couples. Qualitative methods are most appropriate for the investigation of close relationship processes such as relational maintenance and conflict, hence, the study uses dozens of in-depth interviews with persons living in mixed domestic partnerships representing a broad spectrum of ethnic, racial, religious, socioeconomic, and national backgrounds. In-depth interviews allow access the processes by which couple partners negotiated meaning and from their own perspectives made sense of their lives together.
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