Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: May 28, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412963930 | Print ISBN: 9781412941655 | Online ISBN: 9781412963930| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Intermarriage is the marriage between spouses of different races or different ethnicities and is therefore either inter-racial or interethnic. Marriage between a white and a black is an inter-racial marriage, while a marriage between a Japanese and a Chinese is an interethnic marriage. The difference between race and ethnicity, however, is not always clear. Interethnic marriages have a much longer history than do interracial marriages in the United States. Even in early colonial times, European immigrants of different nationalities and religions intermarried. Inter-racial marriages, on the other hand, have faced higher social stigma and legal restrictions that did not end until after the mid-20th century. In scholarly writings, intermarriage can also refer to a union between spouses of different social characteristics. For example, a marriage between an educated person and an uneducated person might be called an educational intermarriage, regardless of the couple's race or ethnicity. References to such intermarriages, ...