Racism, Interracial Relationships, Face Work, Face Threats, Black, White, Racial Tensions, Corrective Face Work, Face Threatening
This study examined how racism and racial tensions potentially threatened the face needs of Black and White interracial couples. Specifically, this study investigated the benefit of family approval of one's interracial relationship. Couples use of corrective face work in response to prejudice was also examined. This research used a qualitative, interpretive method to gather and analyze data from 14 personal interviews. The interview schedule enabled interviewees to use storytelling to share their experience of being in a Black and White interracial relationship. Interviewees were asked questions surrounding their experience as the partner in an interracial relationship. Couples shared how they told their family that their romantic partner was a different race and shared how they encountered prejudice when they are out in public. Further, they spoke about how people stare at them and make comments about their interracial relationship. The data underwent a thematic analysis (Owen, 1984) where I reviewed the data and searched for themes that were recurrent and repeated by interviewees. There were several themes that emerged. First, the very presence of racial tensions and racism affects interracial couples. Second, family support seemed to mitigate threats to couples' positive and negative faces and enabled couples to engage in open and honest dialogue with their family and their significant other. Finally, even couples with family support, engaged in corrective face work to respond to the face threats posed by racism and racial tensions.
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Master of Arts (M.A.)
College of Sciences
Nicholson School of Communication
Length of Campus-only Access
Masters Thesis (Open Access)
Castle, Gina, "Let's Give Them Something To Talk About: Exploring Racism And Racial Tensions As Potential Face Threats In Black And White Interracial Relationships" (2008). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 3491.