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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 4 Building and Sustaining Intercultural Relationships: Public Perceptions and Practical Benefits of Friendships and Romantic Relationships in Intercultural Contexts Intercultural relationships of nearly every type have been recognized as unacceptable, abnormal, and “mixed up” throughout long stretches of history in the United States and around the world. In fact, it was not until 1967 in the United States that the Supreme Court nullified laws against interracial marriage (Loving v. Commonwealth of Virginia, 1967). Our past conceptions, ideals, and laws have created strong attitudes towards how the majority of people perceive interracial relationships. Research shows that both men and women hold negative attitudes toward interracial relationships (Mills & Daly, 1995). Although much of our population views interracial relations as negative, many practical reasons exist for building and sustaining interracial relationships. Through building and sustaining relationships with others from different cultures and races, we can acquire knowledge about the world, break stereotypes, and acquire new skills (Martin & Nakayama 1999). The diversity that is created by an intercultural relationship allows for increased creativity and improved problem solving (Cox & Blake 1991). Although many advantages of having intercultural relationships have been demonstrated through years of research, many attitudes of anti-interracial relationships continue to exist. This analysis will (1) synthesize research of peoples’ conceptions of intercultural relationships, (2) discuss reasons why people perceive intercultural relationships as either negative or positive, (3) and discuss reasons why building and sustaining intercultural relationships have practical and positive benefits. Two main contexts among intercultural relationships will be discussed: friendships and romantic

Authors: Docan, Tony.
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Building and Sustaining Intercultural Relationships 4
Building and Sustaining Intercultural Relationships: Public Perceptions and Practical
Benefits of Friendships and Romantic Relationships in Intercultural Contexts
Intercultural relationships of nearly every type have been recognized as
unacceptable, abnormal, and “mixed up” throughout long stretches of history in the
United States and around the world. In fact, it was not until 1967 in the United States that
the Supreme Court nullified laws against interracial marriage (Loving v. Commonwealth
of Virginia, 1967). Our past conceptions, ideals, and laws have created strong attitudes
towards how the majority of people perceive interracial relationships. Research shows
that both men and women hold negative attitudes toward interracial relationships (Mills
& Daly, 1995). Although much of our population views interracial relations as negative,
many practical reasons exist for building and sustaining interracial relationships.
Through building and sustaining relationships with others from different cultures
and races, we can acquire knowledge about the world, break stereotypes, and acquire new
skills (Martin & Nakayama 1999). The diversity that is created by an intercultural
relationship allows for increased creativity and improved problem solving (Cox & Blake
1991). Although many advantages of having intercultural relationships have been
demonstrated through years of research, many attitudes of anti-interracial relationships
continue to exist. This analysis will (1) synthesize research of peoples’ conceptions of
intercultural relationships, (2) discuss reasons why people perceive intercultural
relationships as either negative or positive, (3) and discuss reasons why building and
sustaining intercultural relationships have practical and positive benefits. Two main
contexts among intercultural relationships will be discussed: friendships and romantic


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