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Boundaries of LoveInterracial Marriage and the Meaning of Race$
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Chinyere K. Osuji

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781479878611

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: January 2020

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9781479878611.001.0001

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Preferences and the Romantic Career

Preferences and the Romantic Career

(p.28) 1 Preferences and the Romantic Career
Boundaries of Love

Chinyere K. Osuji

NYU Press

This chapter introduces the concept of “romantic career:” how people draw on prior romantic and dating experiences to understand their ethnoracial preferences or (lack thereof) for romantic partnership and marriage. This chapter reveals the narratives and accounts that respondents use to make sense of their trajectories towards marrying a person of a different color. This chapter draws on responses to questions about their first and last serious relationships, dating experiences, and “hook-ups.” I found that Carioca spouses were often placed ethnoracial boundaries at the center of desires for romantic partnership. In Los Angeles, there was more silence surrounding ethnoracial preferences across the boundary. However, in both sites, whites enjoyed a “privilege of preference” that their black partners did not. For Cariocas, it meant white women's desires for nego, or “big” black men. In Los Angeles, it was revealed in white men's penchant for “exotic” women across racial categories.

Keywords:   Romantic Career, Interracial Dating, Interracial Marriage, Affiliative Ethnicity, Brazil, Race, Comparative Race, Intersectionality, Casais interraciais, Mestiçagem

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