Ethnicity-based patterns of mate selectivity: Second generation immigrants in Southern California and Florida
Liu, Hsin-Yi Cindy
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This study seeks to examine patterns of heterosexual romantic interracial or interethnic relationship outcomes among young adult second generation immigrants who grew up in Southern California and Florida, and the relative influence of individual demographic characteristics, as well as the degree of their socio-structural and cultural integration into the mainstream American society. The analyses will focus specifically on variations across second generation young adult Latino, Asian, and Caribbean subgroups that grew up in Southern Florida and California. Among studies of marriage and family formation, research regarding racial and ethnic intermarriage has been of major significance because it reflects changing boundaries between individuals of different race and ethnicity. In the last few decades, the focus of cross racial marriage has shifted from black-white unions to encompass romantic relationship processes of contemporary immigrants from non-European countries. Among issues concerning the family formation of immigrant minority youths, the race and ethnicity of their partners is particularly significant. This is because who they marry or date tells us much about their integration into the American mainstream society, as well as the future demographic picture of America's increasingly diverse population. Based on several bodies of literature that include race and ethnic relations, marriage and the family, and immigrant incorporation, I propose that second generation immigrants from diverse backgrounds will have divergent romantic relationship outcomes. Their union outcomes will be a function of demographic characteristics, socio-structural and cultural integration. This study takes advantage of Children of Immigrants Longitudinal Study's (CILS) longitudinal design (1992-2003), and its inclusion of rich and substantive data concerning the adaptation processes of the immigrant second generation. This study will add to the paucity of research with regard to cross racial/ethnic intimate relationship patterns among contemporary immigrant children, as well as further address the persistence, or transcendence of racial/ethnic boundaries as mitigated by socio-structural, cultural, and individual demographic characteristics. Questions that this research will address are: what are the predictors of being in a heterogamous relationship (interracial or interethnic) for children of immigrants in Southern California and Florida? Do these predictors of heterogamous relationship status vary by the type of union status (i.e., married, cohabiting, or dating)? Do female and male children of immigrants experience a significantly different pattern of heterogamous union formation? What do these patterns tell us about marriage assimilation among children of immigrants in Southern California and Florida? This study will also address important theoretical, methodological and policy issues.