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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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Policing the Boundary

Policing the Boundary

Interacting with Strangers in Public

(p.181) 6 Policing the Boundary
Boundaries of Love

Chinyere K. Osuji

NYU Press

This chapter examines how interracial couples negotiate “racial boundary-policing” in which outsiders sanction them and redraw ethnoracial understandings of “us” versus “them.” Albeit rare, boundary-policing was more common in Los Angeles with couples pointing to blacks as perpetrators. White wives perceived black women as their main harassers. Black husbands' masculinity protected them from seeing black women as a threat. On the other hand, couples with black wives and white husbands reported incidents involving black men, but did not see them as an ongoing threat. Some black women were not perceived as black in public, lessening experiences of hostility. Particularly for black husbands and white wives, Los Angeles remained a diverse place where hostility was not a concern as long as they avoided black communities. Carioca couples demonstrated a regionalized understanding of boundary-policing occurring outside of the city in the country's southern region and within the city in the wealthy, predominantly white, South Zone. Intersections of race and gender mattered for understandings of racial boundary-policing with the South Zone becoming a site of hyper-sexualization for black women married to white men. This chapter shows how social actors-whether in interracial marriages or outsiders who harass them-reproduce these boundaries through their social interactions.

Keywords:   Interracial marriage, Multiracial Family, Comparative Race, Social Boundary, Intersectionality, Casais interraciais, Mestiçagem

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