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Interracial couples within the South African context: experiences, perceptions and challenges

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dc.contributor.advisor Van Staden, F.J. (Prof.) en Mojapelo-Batka, Emily Mapula en 2009-08-25T11:00:57Z 2009-08-25T11:00:57Z 2009-08-25T11:00:57Z 2008-05-31 en
dc.identifier.citation Mojapelo-Batka, Emily Mapula (2009) Interracial couples within the South African context: experiences, perceptions and challenges, University of South Africa, Pretoria, <> en
dc.description.abstract In this study the experiences, perceptions and challenges of being in a mixed-race relationship (M-R) were explored against the backdrop of previous South African pieces of legislation meant to keep the various race groups apart. The study was located within a conceptual framework predominantly informed by a constructivist approach, as well as some tenets from the social constructionist approach. This study focused only on M-R relationships consisting of black and white partners. The couples were recruited through the use of a snowball sampling method. In-depth interviews were used as the primary tool for collecting data. All participants were interviewed by the researcher either at their own homes or in the researcher's office. The collected information was later transcribed and qualitatively analysed. The results of the study indicate that individuals found their involvement in M-R relationships to be a positive experience, and thus resulting in a positive attitude change and a sense of personal growth. M-R couples and their extended families experienced cognitive dissonance which required them to discard their previously internalised racial stereotypes, using strategies such as cognitive differentiation, re-categorization and de-categorization, allowing shifts toward non-racial socially constructed categories. Most of the challenges of being in M-R relationships were experienced on interpersonal and inter-group levels. The losses, disadvantages, challenges, concerns and pains experienced by M-R couples were mainly related to family and social disapproval of the relationship as well as efforts to discourage race mixing. The study concludes that the non-conformist nature of M-R relationships requires from the participants a high level of self-differentiation and individuation that challenges racial norms and cultural collectivism. Albeit being a personal or private matter, a M-R relationship carries the burden of easily being the subject of public discourse. It is in this sense that M-R relationships cannot be understood without taking the socio-political context within which they occur into consideration. en
dc.format.extent 1 online resource (xiv, 268 leaves)
dc.language.iso en en
dc.subject Race en
dc.subject Interracial relationships en
dc.subject Social comparison en
dc.subject Social category en
dc.subject Social hierarchy en
dc.subject Social identity en
dc.subject Social contact en
dc.subject Cognitive dissonance en
dc.subject Racial stereotypes and attitudes en
dc.subject Culture en
dc.subject Tradition en
dc.subject Love en
dc.subject Marriage en
dc.subject.ddc 616.891562
dc.subject.lcsh Interracial marriage -- Psychological aspects
dc.subject.lcsh Racially mixed people -- South Africa
dc.title Interracial couples within the South African context: experiences, perceptions and challenges en
dc.type Thesis en
dc.description.department Psychology en D.Phil. (Psychology) en

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