Beyond Loving: Intimate Racework in Lesbian, Gay, and Straight Interracial Relationships

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9780199743568: Beyond Loving: Intimate Racework in Lesbian, Gay, and Straight Interracial Relationships

Beyond Loving provides a critical examination of interracial intimacy in the beginning decades of the twenty-first century-an era rife with racial contradictions, where interracial relationships are increasingly seen as symbols of racial progress even as old stereotypes about illicit eroticism persist. Drawing on extensive qualitative research, Amy Steinbugler examines the racial dynamics of everyday life for lesbian, gay, and heterosexual Black/White couples. She disputes the notion that interracial partners are enlightened subjects who have somehow managed to "get beyond" race. Instead, for many partners, interracial intimacy represents not the end, but the beginning of a sustained process of negotiating racial differences. Her research reveals the ordinary challenges that partners frequently face and the myriad ways that race shapes their interactions with each other as well as with neighbors, family members, co-workers and strangers. Steinbugler analyzes the everyday actions and strategies through which individuals maintain close relationships in a society with deeply-rooted racial inequalities-what she calls "racework." Beyond Loving reveals interracial intimacy as an ongoing process rather than a singular accomplishment. This analytic shift helps us reach a new understanding of how race "works"-not just in intimate spheres, but across all facets of contemporary social life.

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About the Author:


Amy C. Steinbugler is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at Dickinson College.

Review:


"Using qualitative data of Black/White couples, Steinbugler has written a powerful book on how race works in everyday family life. She shows that one member of the couple is usually 'out of place' as the couples live in a neighborhood, go to church, or attend other events. These broader patterns create 'racial fatigue.' Beautifully written, the details of the couples' lives are at times poignant and funny; they are always revealing of the continuing significance of race in America."
-- Annette Lareau, University of Pennsylvania


"This is a beautifully written and theoretically innovative study of interracial intimacy that sociologists have been waiting for. It is destined to become a classic ethnography of race. Steinbugler provides new concepts that innovate and renovate studies of intimacy. This study should be required reading for courses devoted to race or racism, intimacy, American studies, sociology and cultural studies."
-- France Winddance Twine, University of California, Santa Barbara


"Beyond Loving is a finely developed and sophisticated analysis of the intersections of race, gender and sexuality as they relate to the ways Black/White straight and gay couples negotiate their multiple identities as they forge their lives together in contemporary America. This is truly original work and will become a foundational text in the study of interracial relationships."
-- Mignon R. Moore, author of Invisible Families: Gay Identities, Relationships and Motherhood among Black Women


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Book Description Oxford University Press Inc, United States, 2012. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Intimacy between blacks and whites in the United States is a crucial point of inquiry because this color line has historically been the most rigorously surveilled and restricted. Because of this history, social scientists use interracial intimacy as a barometer of the social distance between racial groups, and view growing numbers of interracial couples as evidence of racial progress. But are interracial couples really able to carve out a raceless intimate sphere? Or are interracial relationships microcosms of broader-level racial hierarchies? In this book, Amy Steinbugler challenges the widespread assumption that interracial intimacy represents the ultimate erasure of racial differences. She finds that while interracial partners may be more racially progressive, they are not necessarily enlightened subjects who have managed to get beyond race. Instead, for many partners interracial intimacy represents not the end, but the beginning of a sustained process of negotiating racial differences. Using qualitative interviews and ethnographic case studies with both heterosexual and same-sex black/white couples, Steinbugler explores the social practices through which interracial partners respond to and negotiate racial difference in their relationship, what she calls racework. Even though these processes unfolded in very similar ways for every interracial partner she interviewed, racial identities and attitudes remained generally stable and issues of power and privilege crept into even the most ordinary situations. Intimacy, Steinbugler finds, does not necessarily erode racial differences. In addition, the interviews with same-sex interracial couples-a topic on which there is very little research-allow Steinbulger to examine for the first time how everyday racial practices are shaped by sexuality and gender. Our racial present is a complex mix of enduring inequalities and new cultural messages. Beyond Loving adeptly examines how interracial couples experience race in their everyday lives and how they engage one another to address fundamental questions about the significance of race in contemporary life. Bookseller Inventory # AAS9780199743568

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Book Description Oxford University Press Inc, United States, 2012. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Intimacy between blacks and whites in the United States is a crucial point of inquiry because this color line has historically been the most rigorously surveilled and restricted. Because of this history, social scientists use interracial intimacy as a barometer of the social distance between racial groups, and view growing numbers of interracial couples as evidence of racial progress. But are interracial couples really able to carve out a raceless intimate sphere? Or are interracial relationships microcosms of broader-level racial hierarchies? In this book, Amy Steinbugler challenges the widespread assumption that interracial intimacy represents the ultimate erasure of racial differences. She finds that while interracial partners may be more racially progressive, they are not necessarily enlightened subjects who have managed to get beyond race. Instead, for many partners interracial intimacy represents not the end, but the beginning of a sustained process of negotiating racial differences. Using qualitative interviews and ethnographic case studies with both heterosexual and same-sex black/white couples, Steinbugler explores the social practices through which interracial partners respond to and negotiate racial difference in their relationship, what she calls racework. Even though these processes unfolded in very similar ways for every interracial partner she interviewed, racial identities and attitudes remained generally stable and issues of power and privilege crept into even the most ordinary situations. Intimacy, Steinbugler finds, does not necessarily erode racial differences. In addition, the interviews with same-sex interracial couples-a topic on which there is very little research-allow Steinbulger to examine for the first time how everyday racial practices are shaped by sexuality and gender. Our racial present is a complex mix of enduring inequalities and new cultural messages. Beyond Loving adeptly examines how interracial couples experience race in their everyday lives and how they engage one another to address fundamental questions about the significance of race in contemporary life. Bookseller Inventory # AAS9780199743568

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Book Description Oxford University Press Inc, United States, 2012. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . This book usually ship within 10-15 business days and we will endeavor to dispatch orders quicker than this where possible. Brand New Book. Intimacy between blacks and whites in the United States is a crucial point of inquiry because this color line has historically been the most rigorously surveilled and restricted. Because of this history, social scientists use interracial intimacy as a barometer of the social distance between racial groups, and view growing numbers of interracial couples as evidence of racial progress. But are interracial couples really able to carve out a raceless intimate sphere? Or are interracial relationships microcosms of broader-level racial hierarchies? In this book, Amy Steinbugler challenges the widespread assumption that interracial intimacy represents the ultimate erasure of racial differences. She finds that while interracial partners may be more racially progressive, they are not necessarily enlightened subjects who have managed to get beyond race. Instead, for many partners interracial intimacy represents not the end, but the beginning of a sustained process of negotiating racial differences. Using qualitative interviews and ethnographic case studies with both heterosexual and same-sex black/white couples, Steinbugler explores the social practices through which interracial partners respond to and negotiate racial difference in their relationship, what she calls racework. Even though these processes unfolded in very similar ways for every interracial partner she interviewed, racial identities and attitudes remained generally stable and issues of power and privilege crept into even the most ordinary situations. Intimacy, Steinbugler finds, does not necessarily erode racial differences. In addition, the interviews with same-sex interracial couples-a topic on which there is very little research-allow Steinbulger to examine for the first time how everyday racial practices are shaped by sexuality and gender. Our racial present is a complex mix of enduring inequalities and new cultural messages. Beyond Loving adeptly examines how interracial couples experience race in their everyday lives and how they engage one another to address fundamental questions about the significance of race in contemporary life. Bookseller Inventory # BTE9780199743568

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