The Impact of Age, Gender, Race, and Socioeconomic Indicators of Perceptions of Accepting Racially Diverse Members in the Family

Richard Lewis, Jr., Bennie J. Wilson, III, Joanne Ford-Robertson


This article explores the level of support when a family member chooses to marry a person from a different racial group. It investigates the role that race of the spouse plays along with selected demographic variables with respect to influencing marriage support attitudes. The differential assimilation hypothesis is employed as the theoretical foundation for guiding the statistical analysis. Information from the General Social Survey conducted in 2012 is used in the analytical. The findings demonstrated that when individuals decide to marry outside of their racial group, the racial background of the spouse has a major impact on family member acceptance. It was found that potential spouses from darker-skinned racial groups received less support for the union from family members. This research effort clearly highlighted color-grading as a social phenomenon and demonstrated the importance American society continues to place race and its role in social stratification.

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