Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: June 25, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412963978 | Print ISBN: 9781412909280 | Online ISBN: 9781412963978| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
India Gray-Schmiedlin & Jesse A. Steinfeldt
Interracial marriage is defined as a matrimonial union between members of two different races. It can be seen as a form of miscegenation (i.e., mixing of different races) or exogamy (i.e., a union outside of one's social group), depending on whether race or culture is applied to the definition. Race is a term intended to designate the main subdivisions of the human species. Its core intention is to distinguish groups based on physical characteristics, such as skin pigmentation and hair texture. Culture , on the other hand, defines the way people play out their personal belief system, and thus, culture presents a more dynamic orientation to this issue. Because all humankind embody both race and culture, it is important to understand the roles they play in the lives of individuals who marry outside of their identified race, culture, or both. Contemporary researchers suggest that race is largely a social construction ...