For Black students there were significant within group differences in intercultural dating based on skin tone.Many who claim a post-racial America point to the rise in intercultural marriage, particularly Black-White marriage, as proof that Americans are becoming color-blind, or at least matter-of-fact about color.One of the department’s primary goals is to deepen students’ ability to do research.The Berea College Department of Sociology supports the initiative of the American Sociological Association to infuse undergraduate research training into the sociology curriculum.Furthermore, college campuses are depicted as places where individuals of many different racial/ethnic, cultural, and religious stripes come together and learn to move beyond assumptions about the ‘other’, and learn to appreciate people as individuals .However, there is evidence that on college campuses, despite their lofty goals, individuals of different racial/ethnic groups come together and share space (live, eat, attend classes, and participate in extracurricular activities), but often maintain separate social lives [8,9].We use the inclusive term intercultural because both interracial and interethnic relationships are examined in the present study.The rise in intercultural marriage is seen as a barometer of the strength of racial/ethnic boundaries and social distance [1,2].
This is unexpected because college students meet all of the criteria required for meaningful racial/ethnic mixing—young in age, of a post-modern cohort, high educational status, frequent cross-race/ethnicity contact, and are outside of immediate family sanctioning [5,6].
The results presented in this study further our understanding of the extent to which Black, Latino/a, and White college students go beyond simply sharing social space to sharing romantic lives.
Examining intercultural marriages, marriage across racial lines (Black-White) and marriage across ethnic lines (White-Latino/a, Black-Latino/a) allows us to explore the roles of phenotypic and cultural factors in determining social distance between groups [10,11].
Finally, at the level of society, as the fraction of intercultural marriages increase, the salience of racial/ethnic boundaries decreases.
The positive association between education and intercultural marriage is a hotly debated issue.