Asian Americans have historically enjoyed one of the highest rates of intermarriage of any racial/ethnic group. By exploring the dynamics of interracial marriages among middle-class, professional Asian Americans in Chicago, this article examines what interracial marriages mean for these putative racial/ethnic “boundary crossers” and what they signify about assimilation, racial/ethnic identity, and redrawing of color boundaries in America. This article finds that for Asian Americans in this study, interracial marriage is far from an unproblematic indicator of assimilation; rather, it is a terrain in which complex subjective negotiations over ethnic/racial identities are waged over lifetimes. For both female and male Asian Americans, personal struggles over racial/ethnic identity are thrown into full relief when they begin the process of raising mixed-race children, which forces a reexamination of their own identities, and of those of their children. This article makes a distinctive contribution to the interrelationship of intermarriage, race, and ethnic identity development by comparing the views of Asian Americans and those of their non-Asian spouses regarding marital dynamics and children, which helps to further illuminate the uniqueness of the Asian American experience.


Additional Information

Print ISSN
pp. 189-221
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.