Graduation Year

2014

Location

Room E106, Center for Natural Sciences, Illinois Wesleyan University

Start Date

12-4-2014 11:00 AM

End Date

12-4-2014 12:00 PM

Description

The number of interracial couples in the United States remains low in today’s society. This study uses qualitative interviews and quantitative survey data from Illinois Wesleyan students to investigate the motivations, perceptions, and experiences of those who are currently, or were previously, in an interracial relationship. I also explore the attitudes of those who have not dated interracially, and the media’s impact on perceptions of interracial couples. I find that those who dated interracially did not see race as a deciding factor, but instead focused on personality, cultural similarities and differences, and appearances. Many students saw religion, peer and family support, and socioeconomic status as factors that influence the likelihood of dating interracially. Contradictory statements were made on the portrayal of interracial couples in the media; however, most concluded that the media images are generally positive. Better understanding these perceptions among current college students may have implications for future trends.

Included in

Sociology Commons

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Apr 12th, 11:00 AM Apr 12th, 12:00 PM

Understanding Attitudes Towards Interracial Relationships Among College Students

Room E106, Center for Natural Sciences, Illinois Wesleyan University

The number of interracial couples in the United States remains low in today’s society. This study uses qualitative interviews and quantitative survey data from Illinois Wesleyan students to investigate the motivations, perceptions, and experiences of those who are currently, or were previously, in an interracial relationship. I also explore the attitudes of those who have not dated interracially, and the media’s impact on perceptions of interracial couples. I find that those who dated interracially did not see race as a deciding factor, but instead focused on personality, cultural similarities and differences, and appearances. Many students saw religion, peer and family support, and socioeconomic status as factors that influence the likelihood of dating interracially. Contradictory statements were made on the portrayal of interracial couples in the media; however, most concluded that the media images are generally positive. Better understanding these perceptions among current college students may have implications for future trends.