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Building and Sustaining Intercultural Relationships: Public Perceptions and Practical Benefits of Friendships and Romantic Relationships in Intercultural Contexts
Unformatted Document Text:  Building and Sustaining Intercultural Relationships 13 Research shows that marriages between Chinese and Japanese American partners and European American partners have been facilitated by the dismantling of racial barriers and the assimilation process (Fong & Yung, 1995). Other factors for getting married included economic and cultural compatibility and upward mobility. Studies have shown that the higher the educational levels of the interracial couple, the more stable and long-lasting the relationships will likely be (Billingsley, 1992), thereby creating the sense that these relationships are successful and acceptable. Today, there are over 1.3 million mixed marriages in the United States (Ting-Toomey & Oetzel, 2001). Benefits of Intercultural Romantic Relationships Within intercultural romantic relationships, partners can become more attuned to the family backgrounds, cultural values, and religious beliefs of the other person. Sharing personal stories and experiences is a common way that partners become closer. In fact, a qualitative study in 1999 explored the experiences of sixteen interracially married couples. The results of this study found that the couples sharing of information promoted cultural learning and interpersonal growth (Rangel, 1999). In addition to these findings, it has also been established that interracial romantic relations require partners and families to be racially tolerant, democratic, and open (Root, 2002). Additionally, interracial couples tend to be better off socioeconomically than couples that marry intraracially (Kreider, 2000). Another study used interviews with interracial couples and found that three “relationship blessings” were consistent among these couples (Rosenblatt, Karis, & Powell, 1995). The first blessing is the enrichment of the self, partner, and children that

Authors: Docan, Tony.
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Building and Sustaining Intercultural Relationships 13
Research shows that marriages between Chinese and Japanese American partners
and European American partners have been facilitated by the dismantling of racial
barriers and the assimilation process (Fong & Yung, 1995). Other factors for getting
married included economic and cultural compatibility and upward mobility. Studies have
shown that the higher the educational levels of the interracial couple, the more stable and
long-lasting the relationships will likely be (Billingsley, 1992), thereby creating the sense
that these relationships are successful and acceptable. Today, there are over 1.3 million
mixed marriages in the United States (Ting-Toomey & Oetzel, 2001).
Benefits of Intercultural Romantic Relationships
Within intercultural romantic relationships, partners can become more attuned to
the family backgrounds, cultural values, and religious beliefs of the other person. Sharing
personal stories and experiences is a common way that partners become closer. In fact, a
qualitative study in 1999 explored the experiences of sixteen interracially married
couples. The results of this study found that the couples sharing of information promoted
cultural learning and interpersonal growth (Rangel, 1999). In addition to these findings, it
has also been established that interracial romantic relations require partners and families
to be racially tolerant, democratic, and open (Root, 2002). Additionally, interracial
couples tend to be better off socioeconomically than couples that marry intraracially
(Kreider, 2000).
Another study used interviews with interracial couples and found that three
“relationship blessings” were consistent among these couples (Rosenblatt, Karis, &
Powell, 1995). The first blessing is the enrichment of the self, partner, and children that


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