Japanese American Interracial Marriage

Decent Essays
Shutong liu
Soc 180 For Asian cultures, dating outside of one’s race has traditionally been culturally controversial. However, interracial relationships amongst Asian Americans have been increasingly popular, especially in areas of racial diversity with interracial marriage rates becoming higher through later generations (Kitano et al. 1984, 189). What exactly has been driving this growing trend for Asians to marry outside of their racial and ethnic groups? By observing the characteristics of such relationships, we can understand better this ongoing cultural shift and how it occurs. A U.S. Census in 2000 found that interracial marriage rates were 9 percent for African Americans, about 39 percent for Hispanics, 56 percent for American Indians,
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Fugita, Professor Emeritus Psychology and Ethnic Studies at Santa Clara University and David J. O’Brien, Professor Emeritus of American Catholic History at College of the Holy Cross, suggest in their book, “Japanese American Ethnicity: The Persistence of Community,” that a driver behind Asians being open to dating outside of race is because of their relative group size to other racial groups around them (1991). The report is based on interview surveys of several hundred Japanese American men in Fresno, Sacramento, and Gardena, California. It proposes empirical studies that have found evidence suggesting that relative group size is inversely related to outside marriage rates through the observations of Japanese Americans. When Asians compose a small percentage of the overall population, they are faced with more racial diversity and become more likely to marry outside of their racial and ethnic groups. These social characteristics are also supported through the research of Peter M. Blau, an American Sociologist and Theorist in his book, “Inequality and Heterogeneity: A Primitive Theory of Social Structure,” finding that social interactions between groups are shaped by group sizes (1977). As minority populations grow, their opportunities of intragroup contact with the majority population increase, presenting higher likelihoods of intergroup dating and marriage (Qian and Lichter 2007, 71). Together, the basis of sociological theory on group interaction applied to…show more content…
Fujino, a professor of Asian American Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara has found that Asians who do engage in outer marriage usually marry other Asians of other ethnic groups or White Americans (1997, 823). They may not be completely open to dating outside but the Asian American relationship preference is still immature in its research and cannot be fully predicted. More research on that would be needed. However, we have observed factors that suggest strong evidence for the rising trend of outside marriage for Asians. The exposure of racial diversity here in America has brought groups physically closer, giving them a higher likelihood of interaction and potential dating and marriage. In addition, sentiments have been overall accepting of these diverse relationships, making it easier for interracial and interethnic couples to be with each
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